With commanding leads on both sides of the ticket, Republican Bryan Cutchen and Democrat Shenna Bellows earned the nominations of their respective parties in the Senate District 14 race in Tuesday’s primary election.

They’ll face off against Joe Pietroski, who is running for the seat as an independent.

Chelsea, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Manchester, Monmouth, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, West Gardiner and Winthrop comprise Senate District 14.

Early returns had favored both Bellows and Cutchen across the region. With 10 of 11 precincts reporting, Bellows led Berry 1,744 votes to 318, and Cutchen led Blanchard 661-409.

Bellows, 41, is an experienced campaigner; she unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in 2014 and she has worked on issues campaigns throughout her career.

“I am honored by the support of people all across the district who care so deeply about the future of our state,” Bellows said. “As we shift focus to November, I look forward to talking to Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Greens alike to build a coalition to support educational and economic opportunity for all.”

Cutchen, 55, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, has significant fiscal and personnel management skills from his time at the Pentagon. He serves on the Maine Turnpike Authority board of directors.

“I’m happy to see the results,” Cutchen said. “Maureen and I are very close in our positions, but the voters have made their choice.” He said as he shifts to the general election in November, he’ll take a look at his opponents. “We’ll try to support our position to support the people.”

Bellows swept the race in all 11 towns; Cutchen won nine. Blanchard won Gardiner and Chelsea.

The Republican primary has been a contest between passion and executive experience.

Blanchard, 53, who is on the Gardiner City Council, made accountability the cornerstone of her campaign. She favored transparency in budgeting and scrutiny in how taxpayer money is being spent. She stressed lowering the cost of living, working and running a business in Maine.

Cutchen, who now lives in West Gardiner, cited his executive experience

On the Democratic side of the ballot, Berry, a real estate agent, touted his lifelong experience in the district. Bellows emphasized her skill at building coalitions to solve problems. She owns Bellows & Co., which provides advocacy, development and communications consulting services to clients, and she’s the interim director of Learning Works, an education nonprofit that helps at-risk children, low-income families and immigrants.

Berry, 61, is serving his second term as a Gardiner city councilor. He has spent nearly four decades as a real estate agent. The experience of brokering deals between buyers and sellers.

 

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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