Governor Mills Re-elected as Lewiston Leans Blue in Midterms, Elects Three Bates Associates

Election day took place across the country yesterday, with several important elections in the state of Maine. Local races trended blue, with the hotly contested congressional competition still too close to call.

Three Bates affiliates won their regional races: State Senator Peggy R. Rotundo, State Representative in the 94th district Kristen Cloutier and State Representative for the 95th District Mana Abdi.

It is currently unclear who will represent the Lewiston-Auburn area in the United States congress, though according to The Lewiston Sun Journal, this morning incumbent Democrat Jared Golden ‘11 said that the numbers are “very encouraging” and that currently his campaign has maintained “around a four-point lead over Bruce Poliquin.” Golden added that if there is an instant runoff, which is likely given the seat is decided by ranked-choice voting, he expects it to “strengthen [his] margin of victory.”

 Incumbent Democrat Janet Mills beat out Paul LePage, a Republican, in the gubernatorial race. Maine Democrats won the house majority and the senate majority in addition to holding onto the governor’s seat, making the state solidly blue. In her last election Mills won 50.9 percent of the vote against Republican opponent Shawn Moody. According to her Deputy Campaign Manager Scott Ogden, Mills surpassed her 2018 vote total and set a new record for most votes won by a governor in the state’s history. LePage previously served as governor of the state from 2011 through 2019. This was his first time running for governor that he did not receive the majority of votes in Lewiston.

According to information from the Lewiston city clerk’s department 7,679 city residents voted for Mills, with LePage receiving 5,422. Golden ‘11 dominated in Lewiston, his hometown, winning 7,767 votes, with Republican Bruce Poliquin trailing behind at 4,530. Independent Tiffany Bond received 914 votes.

Mana Abdi, who currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) and Bates, is the first Somali-American lawmaker to be elected in the state. At only 26 years old, Abdi will represent Maine’s 95th District as a state representative. She ran unopposed after her Republican challenger dropped out of the race in August.

Born in Kenya, Abdi arrived in the United States as a child. She moved to Lewiston at 13 years old in 2009, and graduated from Lewiston High School in 2014, later attending the University of Maine Farmington and graduating in 2018.

“Lewiston deserves safe, affordable, available housing and good jobs,” Abdi told The Sun Journal. “I will be a strong and relentless voice for our community in Augusta.”

Peggy R. Rotundo, a democrat, won her state senate race and Margaret M. Craven will serve as Lewiston’s representative to the legislature. Rotundo helped found the Center for Service Learning and worked at the Harward Center at Bates. Kristen Cloutier will continue serving as state representative in the 94th district. The only part of Bates she represents is those living in John-Bertram Hall. Coutier is also affiliated with the Harward Center, currently serving as associate director for center operations and program coordinator for Project Pericles.

For the second election in a row, Golden, Poliquin and Bond lined up for the second house district race. In 2018, then incumbent Poliquin was defeated by Golden, who won 50.5 percent of the vote via the new ranked-choice voting system. Golden won 53 percent of the vote in his 2020 reelection campaign.

The district attorney for the third district will be Republican Neil E. McLean Jr. and county commissioner for Androscoggin District will be Democrat Edouard G. Plourde. 

Two local candidates ran unopposed: Michael L. Dubois, a Republican, will serve as the judge of probate for Androscoggin County, and Eric G. Samson, a Democrat, will serve as the county’s sheriff.