May 20, 2018
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Republicans, Green Independents slate caucuses to pick Maine Senate special election candidates

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BATH, Maine — With three candidates set to seek the Democratic nomination to replace Seth Goodall representing Sagadahoc County and Dresden in the Maine Senate, Republicans and the Green Independent party have scheduled caucuses this month to choose nominees to represent their parties in a special election.

Gov. Paul LePage has yet to set a date for the special election.

Goodall, a Richmond Democrat who served as Senate majority leader this year, resigned Tuesday to take over as New England regional director of the Small Business Association.

A candidate to represent the Green Independent party in the special election will be chosen at that party’s caucus at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Topsham Municipal Building.

Fred Horch, treasurer of the Maine Green Independent Party, said Friday that party leaders have been notified that at least one candidate will seek the nomination, and “a couple of other people are mulling it over.”

Sagadahoc County Republicans will caucus at 6:30 p.m. July 23 at the Smith-Tobey American Legion Post in Bath.

Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, who served one term in the Legislature representing District 19, announced previously that she will seek the Republican nomination. Kyle Rogers, chairman of the Sagadahoc County Republicans, said Friday that no one else has expressed interest in seeking the Republican nomination.

Benoit ousted incumbent Sen. Art Mayo in 2006 after Mayo switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat shortly after winning re-election as a Republican. In 2008, Goodall beat Benoit in a close race. making him the first Democrat to represent Sagadahoc County in the Maine Senate for more than a decade.

Sagadahoc County Democrats have not yet announced the date of their caucus, chairwoman Bronwen Tudor said Friday.

Three candidates have thus far announced that they will seek the Democrats’ nomination: Eloise Vitelli, a director of program and policy at Women, Work and Community; Bath City Councilor David Sinclair; and Will Neilson, owner of Solo Bistro in Bath.

Democrats currently hold 19 seats in the Maine Senate, Republicans hold 15 and there is one independent. No Green Independent party candidate has ever won a Maine Senate seat.

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