Buoyed by strong support from voters in her home city of Waterville, Democrat Colleen Lachowicz vanquished one-term Republican Sen. Thomas Martin of Benton to capture Senate District 25.
Lachowicz’s campaign attracted international attention after the Maine Republican Party created a website to criticize her participation as a player in World of Warcraft, an online fantasy game.
Gamers from around the world soon rushed to her defense, making more than $6,300 in contributions via the website ActBlue to two political actions committees that supported her campaign. Those donations prompted the Maine Republican Party to file a complaint against Lachowicz with the Maine Ethics Commission.
The commission determined Nov. 1 that Lachowicz, a Maine Clean Election Act candidate, did not coordinate with the PACs for the fundraising and voted 5-0 not to proceed with an investigation.
As of Tuesday, outside groups had spent more than $184,000 on the contest, according to Maine Ethics Commission figures. That’s the fifth highest amount of outside spending for a 2012 Maine Senate race, according to the commission’s data. Of that total, more than $81,000 was spent to oppose Martin.
Lachowicz outpolled Martin by more than 1,900 votes in Waterville. Overall in the district, she won by a little more than 900 votes.