A former Wilton selectman was on track to defeat the longtime incumbent in the Franklin County commissioners District 1 race with three out of four towns reporting election results Wednesday.

Incumbent Franklin County Commissioner Gary McGrane, D-Jay, was being challenged in the race by Terrance Brann, R-Wilton, in his bid for re-election to the District 1 seat. With Jay, Wilton and Carthage reporting results by midday Wednesday, Brann held a 397-vote lead, 2,662-2,265, over McGrane.

McGrane, 65, has served 28 years as the commissioner representing District 1, which includes Carthage, Jay, Temple and Wilton.

Brann served as a Wilton selectman for nine years. During his time on the Wilton board, Brann was a three-time member of the Franklin County budget advisory committee, which is composed of selectmen from Franklin County towns. After the commissioners hear budget requests from the county departments, they formulate a budget proposal, which then goes before the Franklin County budget advisory committee.

Brann ran his bid for commissioner on a platform of budget frugality. When serving on the budget committee, Brann said he was critical of each line item, regardless of how small or large each expense was. Brann said voters should not have to shoulder more than they can afford.

To blunt the effect the county budget has on taxpayers, McGrane favors finding alternative revenue sources the county can benefit from. McGrane, who has a master’s degree in public administration, touted a recent tax increment financing agreement that commissioners voted to amend in order to ensure the county can get the maximum benefit from the agreement.

The county’s TIF agreement with TransCanada Maine Wind Development — which operates a 44-turbine wind farm in northern Franklin County — was amended last month to maximize the amount of tax revenue the county will receive over the 30-year term of the TIF. Under the amended agreement, the county will receive over $16 million in captured revenue.

TIF funds, under the agreement, can be used for a range of economic and community development purposes. McGrane said that funding will be crucial in developing the communications and broadband Internet infrastructure in Franklin County. Without the TIF funding, if the county wanted to make these types of improvements within the county, they would have to use tax dollars.

McGrane said he is also supportive of the social service programs that the county contributes funding to, adding that those organizations benefit Franklin County residents.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate