TURNER — In the only three-way legislative primary in Maine, the winner wound up with enough votes to make ranked-choice voting irrelevant.
Joshua Morris, a 36-year-old Realtor, emerged with just over half of the votes in the Republican primary to pick a nominee in the 75th District that spans Turner, Leeds and part of Livermore.
Unofficial results show Morris collected 458 votes, while John Alexander Pape got 224 and Angelo Terreri pulled in 215.
Pape said that Morris, who could not be reached, ran a strong campaign, knocking on twice as many doors as his opponents.
He said Morris, who faces Democrat John Nutting in the Nov. 6 general election, “will make a fine candidate.”
All three of the GOP contenders said they opposed ranked-choice voting and urged their supporters to pick only a single candidate to ensure the new system wouldn’t affect the results. As it turned out, though, it didn’t matter because Morris ran so strong.
The seat has been held for the past four terms by Jeff Timberlake, a Turner Republican. He is seeking to claim a spot in the Senate this year.
Morris said last week that he plans to take on the “out-of-state special interests” who pay people to gather signatures in Portland and other urban centers to push referenda onto the ballot that rural Mainers have no use for. He said he would like to ban those pushing a measure from paying people to gather signatures.