AUGUSTA — Democrat Maeghan Maloney of Augusta had a commanding lead late Tuesday night over Republican Darrick X. Banda in the race to be district attorney for the next two years in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Maloney, a sitting legislator from Augusta, doubled Banda’s total in Waterville, one of the larger cities in the district. She won handily in Augusta and Winthrop.

“Thank you for the wonderful support and I’m looking forward to seeing the final numbers,” Maloney said late Tuesday.

At press time, it appeared only voters in Manchester, where Banda lives, and several other towns opted for the Republican.

Maloney had 22,109 votes and Banda 16,383 votes in unofficial returns from 18 municipalities.

“I’d like to wait until all the numbers are in before making a comment,” Banda said late Tuesday night.

Maloney gave up a re-election bid for a State House seat and had to overcome strong support for longtime Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley to get the party nomination.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will fill the remainder of the term that had been held by Democrat Evert Fowle until he became a District Court judge. The post is up for election to a full, four-year term in 2014.

The new district attorney too will head an office where most of the assistant prosecutors are new to the job.

Nine of the attorneys — including Kelley — who worked in the offices in January have left or announced departure dates, taking with them a total of 145 years’ experience on the job.

Several new attorneys plus one with five years’ experience in private practice have been sworn into the office.

The assistant district attorneys are appointed by the district attorney.

Maloney has been an attorney for 15 years, spending two years as an assistant district attorney in Portland, Ore., and four years as an assistant attorney general in Maine handling tax, tobacco and child support litigation before moving into private practice and the Legislature.

Banda was an assistant district attorney in the Kennebec/Somerset prosecutorial district from 2003-2008 before moving into private practice in Portland.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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