Democrat Chris Johnson won a special election Tuesday night in Senate District 20, defeating Republican state Rep. Dana Dow.

Preliminary results showed Johnson, of Somerville, leading with 3,191 votes over Dow, of Waldoboro, who had 2,758 votes, with all but two of the 21 communities reporting, according to a release from the Maine Democratic Party. Dow conceded the race late Tuesday night, the statement said. 

The special election was held to fill the seat formerly held by David Trahan, a Republican who resigned in December to become executive director of the Sportman’s Alliance of Maine.

Senate District 20 includes all of Lincoln County, plus the Kennebec County town of Windsor and the Knox County towns of Friendship and Washington.

Democratic party officials called Johnson’s win a “huge upset to Maine Republicans,” saying the party spent nearly $26,000 in independent expenditures.

Maine Democratic Party Chair Ben Grant cast the special election win as a rebuke against Gov. Paul LePage.

“Paul LePage’s agenda is wrong for Maine,” Grant  said in the release, “and Republican legislators have been far too willing to fall in line in the face of mounting evidence that the GOP’s plans aren’t working.”

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