AUGUSTA — Democrat Brian L. Jones, a Freedom selectman, remained the winner in the House District 45 race following a recount Monday supervised by the Department of the Secretary of State.
Jones defeated incumbent Republican Rep. R. Ryan Harmon of Palermo 2,253 to 2,222, a difference of 31 ballots, according to official results from the recount.
District 45 covers the Waldo County towns of Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.
The official result gave Jones one more vote and Harmon three more votes compared with unofficial returns following the Nov. 6 election.
“I’m honored to have the trust of the people in District 45,” Jones said Monday after the recount.
Jones said he hoped to be able to sit down with Harmon “and he can pass his learning to me so I can be a better representative.”
Jones, 55, who teaches mathematics and statistics at Unity College and previously was a teacher and principal at high schools, has been a selectman in Freedom for two years and talked of retaining the post while serving as a legislator.
Harmon, 38, who has served one term in the Legislature, said he had not made a decision about running again.
“I always keep my options open and make sure the community is going to be represented,” he said, adding that he was likely to remain involved in politics.
As the presumptive winner, Jones participated in the Democratic caucus last week and in new member orientation. He said he hopes for a committee assignment involving agriculture.
“I’m in rural Waldo County,” he said. “Agriculture is the key to our local economy.”
He listed dairy farms, organic farms and wood products as the bigger industries, and said the state has to “find a way to keep them all vibrant.”
Recounts continue today in Senate District 20, Alna, Dresden, Pittston and Wiscasset, where Republican Rep. Leslie T. Fossel of Alna challenged Democratic Sen. Christopher K. Johnson, of Somerville. Johnson won the seat in a special election in February and edged Fossel in the Nov. 6 election by 134 votes, 10,880 to 10,746, according to unofficial results.
So far, all the recounts conducted after the Nov. 6 election have confirmed the candidate who was the unofficial winner. Recounts are conducted at the headquarters of the Maine Department of Public Safety in Augusta.
Betty Adams — 621-5631