Bassano leads race for district attorney

Posted Nov. 03, 2010, at 12:27 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 03, 2010, at 1:03 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Unofficial results late Tuesday night in the district attorney’s race for Hancock and Washington counties suggested there might not be a significant change in personnel at the prosecutor’s office.

Democrat Carletta “Dee” Bassano, the current deputy district attorney in the two-county district, held a lead of more than 300 votes at around 11:30 p.m.

Including unofficial results from Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, Bassano had 5,697 votes while Republican Matthew J. Foster had 5,350 votes. Independent candidate Steve Juskewitch of Dedham trailed in third place with 3,580 votes.

Whoever wins the election will replace outgoing District Attorney Michael Povich, a Republican, who chose not to seek re-election after having held the post since 1975.

Bassano, now the deputy district attorney for the two-county district, said late Tuesday night that the race was too close to call.

“I think it’s too early to say how it’s going to end,” Bassano said. “It’s probably going to be close.”

Bassano predicted that it would not be clear until early Wednesday morning who the next top prosecutor in Hancock and Washington counties would be.

“I would always prefer to be in the lead than not be in the lead, but there are still way too many towns that haven’t reported” to say who won, she said.

Foster could not be reached Tuesday night for comment, but Juskewitch said late Tuesday that he didn’t think he would be able to overtake his opponents to win the race.

“It sure looks like the political parties are carrying the ball,” the former prosecutor said. “Those are bad numbers for me. It’s going to be hard to catch up.”

Juskewitch said he had hoped he might do better in Ellsworth, where he received 616 votes. Foster captured the most votes in the Hancock County seat, fetching 1,419 votes while Bassano received 1,185.

“I wanted to change the current way of doing business” in the district attorney’s office, Juskewitch said. “I’ve wanted to take the political parties out of prosecution.”

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