LEWISTON — Democrats in Lewiston and Auburn were deciding candidates for three state House of Representative seats Tuesday, while Republicans in Greene and Sabattus were doing likewise.

Republicans were facing off in a House District 57 primary, while Democrats were paired in primaries in districts 59, 62 and 64. The races are only among a handful of Legislative primaries statewide with several hotly contest state Senate seats drawing more attention in southern Maine.

In Auburn’s House District 62,  Democratic primary race challenger Brian Bolduc, who also previously served in the Legislature, was facing incumbent Gina Melaragno — the district includes all of New Auburn and parts of the city’s downtown. The winner of the race will face Republican Brandon Dickey in November.

Democrats were also voting on the city’s House District 64 race with Bettyann Sheats, a small business owner and previous House candidate,  facing retiring high school teacher Candy Gleason.  The winner earns the right to challenge incumbent state Rep. David Sawicki, a Republican, who is also seeking reelection in 2016.

In Lewiston’s House District 59 race, Democrats Melissa May Stevens and Roger Fuller were facing off for the seat held by Rep. Peggy Rotundo, who has served the four term maximum for the Maine House.  The winner of that race will face the Republican’s candidate Elliot Chicoine.

Republicans in  Sabattus and Greene were also choosing Tuesday between incumbent state Rep. Stephen Wood and his challenger, Gerard Tardif. The winner will face Nicholas Gayton, a Democrat, in the fall.


Voters in Lewiston and Auburn were also voting on public school budgets, while Republicans were also picking their candidate for the Androscoggin County Clerk of Probate election.

Turnout at the polls seem was a, “steady trickle but not a stream,” said candidate Sheats as she greeted voters in Auburn’s Ward 2.

Gleason was also at the polling station midday. 

Voters in wards 1 and 2 shared some of their votes Tuesday with Sun Journal reporters.

Katie and Matt Logue in Ward 1, said  Melaragno picked up their votes because of her support for progressive issues, especially pro-choice, minimum wage.
“She’s like a very local version of Bernie Sanders,” Matt Logue said.
Dave Grund  said he knows Gleason and Sheats personally but was swayed to support Gleason. It was her experience in Auburn schools that convinced him.
“It was a very close decision on my part, and that just ended up being the deciding factor,” Grund said.
Fran Chamberland of Auburn said she picked Gleason for the same reason.
“She’s a teacher and she ran with the district for a while, and I like that experience,” Chamberland said.  “I just like her ideas and the things she supports”
This report will be updated.

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