Republican has wide lead over opponents in Senate District 28 race
ELLSWORTH, Maine — With votes coming in slowly Tuesday night, Republican Brian Langley appeared to have a wide lead in the Senate District 28 race.
With three key towns reporting, Langley had 3,776 votes; Schatz 2,382 and Williams 933.
Langley won big in his hometown of Ellsworth, outpolling his closest challenger by about 1,400 votes. Langley received 2,357 votes in Ellsworth to 666 votes for Democrat James Schatz and 237 votes for Green Independent Lynne Williams.
“Right now, I feel pretty good,” Langley said Tuesday night from the restaurant he owns in Ellsworth. “But it’s a long night ahead, and we need to see what the other towns do.”
The Ellsworth margin will be hard to overcome, Schatz acknowledged. Schatz won his hometown of Blue Hill with 830 votes to Langley’s 524 and Williams’ 98. Unofficial reports indicated that the two major party candidates virtually tied in Bar Harbor, Williams’ hometown. Schatz received 886 votes, Langley 891 and Williams, with her best showing in the early voting, receiving 568.
Although the campaign for the seat had been positive and relatively low-key throughout, it was marred in the last week by negative attack ads against Schatz by an out-of-state Republican political action committee. Although all three candidates condemned the ads, both Langley and Schatz said they felt they had an impact in the election.
“I think they had to have some effect,” Schatz said. “I think there were enough people who did not understand and were not aware of the real story.”
He said people who were not aware of how a town meeting form of government works may have been confused by the negative fliers and television ads in during the last week of the campaign.
Although the attack ads targeted Schatz, Langley said they had a backfire effect on him.
“Those negative ads lost me votes,” he said.
Langley said he was angry that out-of-state interests could come in, run such ads and affect a campaign like that. He said some voters did not understand that, despite what he said was his “aboveboard and clean campaign,” some people still thought he was behind the ads.
“Those things backfire,” he said. “People in Maine just don’t like it. I don’t like it.”
Candidate Lynne Williams could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Senate District 28 comprises Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Township 8, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Frenchboro, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mount Desert, Sedgwick, Sorrento, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Sullivan, Surry, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Trenton and Winter Harbor in Hancock County and the Knox County town of Isle au Haut.