RUMFORD – Matt Peterson, a first-time candidate for elective office, defeated former legislator Rob Cameron for a chance to represent House District 92 in the state Legislature.

In unofficial tallies, Democrat Peterson, 30, of Rumford received 2,586 to Republican Cameron’s 1,869.

“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful,” Peterson said Wednesday afternoon. “Now the responsibility has set in and the excitement to get to work.”

Peterson took 1,888 votes to Cameron’s 1,132 in their hometown of Rumford. He also received a majority of votes in the towns of Roxbury and Byron and in the unorganized territory of Madrid. Cameron out-polled Peterson in the towns of Andover and Weld, and in Sandy River Plantation and Rangeley Plantation.

Peterson will be sworn in Dec. 3, then begin work when the Legislature meets in early January.

He said he wants to provide a solid constituent service by creating an accessible experience from the Legislature to the people through technology such as through podcasts.

He hopes to save taxpayers’ money in what he described as a difficult budget time without causing unintended consequences such a reducing Medicaid.

“I want to look at the situation realistically,” he said.

Whether he had won the race or not, Peterson said the experience of running was incredible.

“I never would have missed the experience,” he said.

Peterson is working on a bachelor’s degree through the University of Southern Maine. He works for Alpha One Independent Living in South Portland.

Cameron, 61, is a Rumford selectmen. Tuesday’s election most likely marked the end of his political career, he said Wednesday evening. He had served four terms representing Rumford and several surrounding towns from 1992-2000 when he was forced to leave because of the term limit law. He then made an unsuccessful bid for a state senate seat.

“I’m getting close to retirement and would like to travel. Maybe (the defeat) was a sign,” he said. “To run again, something in my life would have to change drastically.”

Cameron had been a longtime employee of NewPage Corp. and farms his property on the South Rumford Road.

Although he didn’t expect to take Rumford because it is a heavily Democratic town, he was surprised at the margin.

He said nearly every Republican across the country was affected during the general election.


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