DEXTER, Maine — Raymond Wallace of Dexter defeated two challengers on Tuesday to keep the Maine House District 24 seat in the Republican column.

Wallace, 65, has never held public office before.

He fills the seat left vacant when Republican Frederick Wintle of Garland resigned earlier this year in the wake of allegations that he pointed a gun at a Waterville man.

“I was relieved when the final results came in,” Wallace said by phone. “I’m looking forward to representing the people of District 24 and helping to keep the cost of government down.”

District 24 represents the towns of Dexter, Garland, Charleston, Athens, Harmony and Ripley.

Wallace received 1,161 votes and carried the towns of Charleston, Harmony and Garland. Democrat David Pearson, town manager of Sangerville, won Dexter, Athens and Ripley and finished second with 1,035 votes. Independent Lesley Maynard, a deputy clerk in Charleston, came in third with 186 votes.

“We brought a tough fight deep into a Republican stronghold,” House Minority Leader Emily Cain, D-Orono, said. “Republicans have held the seat for three decades, but the close vote shows that people in rural Maine are troubled by the new direction in Augusta.”

Since Wallace carried the seat, the makeup of the Maine House remains unchanged. There are 78 Republicans, 72 Democrats and one independent.

Wintle, who was elected in Novemeber 2010, still faces felony charges related to the May 21 incident outside a Dunkin’ Donuts in Waterville. He is suspected of pointing a .22-caliber handgun at Michael Seamans, a photographer for a local newspaper, and threatening him.