MEXICO – Sheryl Briggs was ecstatic late Tuesday night.

“I felt in my heart that I was going to win,” said the first-time candidate for elective office.

Residents of five-town state House District 93 narrowly elected Briggs, a Democrat from Mexico, to finish out the term begun by Randy Hotham, by a vote of 1,270 to 1,090 for Republican Katherine Harvey of Dixfield.

Briggs, a long-time executive secretary to the Mexico town manager, out-polled Harvey by a vote of 617-204 in her hometown.

Harvey, a grants manager for SAD 21, polled a majority vote in that district’s towns, 62-38 in Carthage, 139-123 in Canton, 240-220 in Peru, and 445-272 in Dixfield.

“I knew God had a bigger plan for me, and evidently, this is the path he has chosen,” said Briggs.

Years ago, she had worked at G.H. Bass and Co. in both the Wilton and Rumford plants. When she was laid off, she took her benefits and attended Mid-State College, where she earned an associate degree.

Hotham, a Republican, resigned his seat in the state Legislature, effective Aug. 1, citing conflicts with his job at NewPage Corp. He served about five years. The current term would have expired at the end of 2008.

Briggs, 52, has also worked at the Oxford County Registry of Deeds, and in the Mexico town office, has served as town clerk, assistant treasurer, and ballot clerk.

She grew up in Mexico and is a 1974 graduate of Mexico High School.

She wants to work toward lowering property taxes through eliminating duplication of services on the state level and any other way that is feasible. She believes school consolidation is the right step toward lowering taxes.

Harvey, 44, has a business administration degrees and is certified in grant administration.

Although she is disappointed about losing her first race for elective office, she is pleased that she took a majority of the votes in the four towns in her school district.

And, she said she will likely make another bid for Dist. 93 next year. “I have service in my blood,” she said.

Prior to her work with the school district, she worked for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Briggs’ next step since election is a meeting with Speaker of House, Glenn Cummings, about committee seats available.

She said Town Manager John Madigan and the Board of Selectmen have been supportive of her bid for elective office. She believes someone will be hired to fill in for her on an as-needed basis.

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