LEWISTON — Androscoggin County Commissioner Beth Bell held onto her seat Tuesday, defeating challenger Michael Shostak for the four-year term.
"I wasn't overly anxious," Bell said Wednesday after the final numbers were tallied. "I felt comfortable in what I had done."
Bell represents Auburn, Poland, Mechanic Falls and Minot on the commission. Joining her will be Randall Greenwood, who was unopposed in his re-election bid, representing nine towns from Lisbon to Livermore. Greenwood, a Republican, lives in Wales.
Also elected Tuesday was Michael Dubois, who unseated Joshua Klein-Golden for the county's judge of probate.
Dubois, a Republican, won 25,959 votes to Democrat Klein-Golden's 23,348. Dubois and Klein-Golden are both lawyers who live in Lewiston. Both touted their experience during the election. Klein-Golden, 32, has worked as both the register of probate and the judge of probate but has never been elected. Dubois, 56, had not run for office before.
For Bell, a Republican, it was also a first election. The 52-year-old real estate broker from Auburn was appointed to the post last year by Governor Paul LePage. The seat opened after Commissioner Jonathan LaBonte resigned to take the job of Auburn mayor.
Shostak campaigned as someone who would shake up the commission, calling it "completely dysfunctional." He captured 8,364 votes and Bell took 8,566, a difference of 202 votes.
Bell said she welcomed the chance to spend the next four years doing a job she had only just begun in her first year, which was dominated by the county's dispatching controversy. Now she can return to work, she said.
"The election was a good learning experience," Bell said. "I have a new appreciation for what others dedicate and put into wanting to serve."