Most incumbents had a successful election day. School consolidation was decidedly turned down. By a narrower margin than the statewide results, the proposed casino in neighboring Oxford County was also turned down. The beverage tax was easily repealed here and across the state. Question 3’s bond issue was rejected here but narrowly passed statewide.
President-elect Sen. Barack Obama, a democrat, easily won the majority of Franklin County towns, which was in line with national trends. Republican Sen. John McCain won the majority of votes in only two Franklin County communities, Rangeley Plantation and New Vineyard.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Bangor, fared a little better than Obama did, winning 10,157 votes here to her challenger, democrat Rep. Tom Allen’s 6,344, a nearly 2 to 1 margin. In the 2nd congressional district race, republican John Frary of Farmington, gathered a higher average percentage in his home county with 6,641 votes than the statewide, 67 to 32 percent average in his unsuccessful race to unseat incumbent U.S Rep. Michael Michaud, D-East Millinocket. Frary did win majorities in Rangeley Plantation and the town of Strong.
Ann Woloson, D-Belgrade, who was challenging incumbent Walter Gooley, R-Farmington, for the 18th district senate seat, came within 1,100 votes after votes closer to her hometown were tallied. In Gooley’s home turf, however, she garnered 5,803 votes to Gooley’s 7,808 votes, which, in the end, was enough to send him back to Augusta for another term.
State District 89 Rep. Janet Mills, D-Farmington, state District 90 Rep. Tom Saviello, U-Wilton, and state District 92 Rep. Sheryl Briggs all easily won another term.
District 87 will have a new representative after Paul Gilbert, D-Jay won by a nearly 3 to 1 margin over challenger Angela Courchesney, R-Jay. Gilbert will take over for long-serving Ray Pineau, D-Jay. District 91 incumbent Tim Carter, D-Bethel, won by a narrow margin in Franklin County but, when all the votes were counted in Oxford County, lost overall to challenger Jarrod Crockett, R- Bethel. The same was true in the District 92 race with Rob Cameron, R-Rumford earning a majority of votes here but he lost out to challenger Matt Peterson, D-Rumford, in the end.
Franklin County’s unofficial candidate & ballot question result totals
(With all Franklin County towns but Industry reporting at this hour)
United States President & Vice President
9,862 Obama, Barack, D-Chicago, Illinois and Biden, Joe, D-Wilmington, Delaware
44 McKinney, Cynthia, G-Los Angeles, California and Clemente, Rosa, G-Charlotte, North Carolina
6,344 McCain, John, R-Phoenix, Arizona and Palin, Sarah, R-Wasilla, Alaska
183 Nader, Ralph, U-Winsted, Connecticut and Gonzalez, Matt, U-San Francisco, California
United States Senate
6,352 Allen, Thomas H., D-Portland
10,157 Collins, Susan M., R-Bangor
United States House of Representatives, 2nd district
6,641 Frary, John N., R-Farmington
9,613 Michaud, Michael H., D-East Millinocket
Maine Senate, 18th district
7,808 Gooley, Walter R., R-Farmington
5,803 Woloson, Ann L., D-Belgrade
Maine House of Representatives, 87th district
1,418 Courchesney, Angela, R-Jay
2,732 Gilbert, Paul, D-Jay
Maine House of Representatives, 89th district
1,434 Mahoney, Keith Edward, R-Farmington
2,807 Mills, Janet T., D-Farmington
Maine House of Representatives, 90th district
1,030 Collins, Maxine B., D-Wilton
3,492 Saviello, Thomas B., U-Wilton
Maine House of Representatives, 91st district
973 Carter, Timothy A., D-Bethel
905 Crockett, Jarrod, R-Bethel (won overall)
Maine House of Representatives, 92nd district
311 Cameron, Rob, R-Rumford
275 Peterson, Matt, D-Rumford (won overall)
Maine House of Representatives, 93rd district
137 Briggs, Sheryl J., D-Mexico
46 Hine II, William C., U-Peru
102 Knapp, Trevis, U-Dixfield
(Below are Franklin County’s ballot question results with all but Industry and New Vineyard reporting at this hour)
There were three referendum questions on the ballot, on three very different topics. Question 1 was the “people’s veto” on a new tax on malt liquor, wine, soda and other beverages. Question 2 would have allowed a company to build a casino in Oxford County. Question 3 allowed voters the chance to approve or reject a bond to support the construction of waste water and drinking water programs and facilities.
The three questions and the results are listed in their entirety below.
Ballot Question 1: Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that change the method of funding Maine’s Dirigo Health Program through charging health insurance companies a fixed fee on paid claims and adding taxes to malt liquor, wine and soft drinks?
The new tax, passed during the previous legislative session, would not include milk, plain water, drinks with 10 percent or more fruit juice and Maine-produced drinks. The tax proposed was 1 cent on a glass of wine, 3 cents on a bottle of beer, 4 cents on a can of soda and other similar beverages.
The veto effort was spearheaded by a political action group called Fed Up With Taxes. That group successfully collected more than 72,000 signatures to force the referendum question.
On Question 1, Franklin County voted heavily in favor of the veto by a vote of 9,540 in favor versus 5,273 opposed. With a margin of 64.4 percent in favor, that result closely matches the state’s average percentage.
Ballot Question 2: Do you want to allow a certain Maine company to have the only casino in Maine, to be located in Oxford County, if part of the revenue is used to fund specific state programs?
This question would have let the Nevada-based company Olympia Gaming Maine build a $200 million casino and resort in Oxford County. Some revenues would have gone to fund state programs, as well as providing a source of income and jobs for the region.
However critics found several problems with the bill, such as an attempt to lower the state’s gambling age to 19 from 21, lowering the age to work at a casino to 19 from 21 and giving the casino’s owners a 10-year monopoly on building casinos. The proposal would also give the company’s president voting status on every board in Maine connected with the casino.
The Franklin County vote on Question 2 was narrowly in opposition, with 8,209 in favor of the casino and 8,906 in opposition. Statewide, the question was slightly less in doubt, with 55 percent opposed to casino proposal.
Ballot Question 3: Do you favor a $3,400,000 bond issue to support drinking water programs, to support the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and to leverage $17,000,000 in other funds?
Franklin County voters rejected this question by a vote of 7,854 against to 7,693 in favor. Statewide, the proposal passed by a little over 1 percent.