FAIRFIELD — It appears Republican Sen. Scott Cyrway has held on to his District 16 seat representing Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield, Unity Township, Winslow and Waterville.

Election results from those municipalities indicate that Cyrway defeated Democratic candidate Karen Kusiak by 165 votes with a 7,899-7,734 total in the incumbent’s favor.

Cyrway, who lives in Albion and has served two previous terms, said he was thankful for the support from voters.

“I will work as hard as I can to fulfill their way of thinking about me,” Cyrway said Thursday.

He also noted the amount of outside money spent in the race that came from neither of the campaigns, noting that there was “a lot of money spent against me — and they saw through it.”

Kusiak said Thursday she had not decided whether to ask for a recount in the race. Under state statute, candidates have five businesses days after an election to file such a request with the Maine secretary of state.

“I thought about it,” Kusiak said when asked about a potential recount, noting that she will continue to consider the possibility. “I don’t know at this point.”

Kusiak said she hadn’t seen any apparent irregularities with the voting results as of Thursday, and has confidence in the local town clerks who oversee elections.

“Nothing jumps out at me as irregular,” she said.

Cyrway said it was up to Kusiak to decide whether to pursue the recount, but he didn’t expect the result to change if one occurs.

“I think it would basically be the same outcome,” said Cyrway, who speculated that a recount might even lead to more votes in his favor, citing questions about roughly 150 absentee ballots in Waterville from Colby College students that were challenged earlier this week. Waterville was the only District 16 municipality that Kusiak won.

Both candidates serve on the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences board and say they get along.

“The personal relationship with my opponent is fine,” Kusiak said when asked about Cyrway.

“I’ve never had any issues with her,” Cyrway said of Kusiak.

On Wednesday, Kusiak had posted on her Facebook campaign page, acknowledging the results in Cyrway’s favor and celebrating other statewide gains for Democrats.

“This afternoon I learned that the official count of votes for my race was verified and that we lost by a very small margin,” Kusiak said in the post. “While I am disappointed in the outcome, I am thrilled with the election both of Janet Mills, and of many fine women and men to the Maine Senate and Maine House of Representatives. Furthermore, our efforts in and around the Waterville campaign office strengthened wins in other state, county and municipal elections in our area. We made a difference!”

Kusiak, a former Colby professor who lives in Fairfield, won Waterville by a 3,805-2,135 tally. But that advantage of nearly 1,700 votes was not enough to eclipse Cyrway’s dominance in the other District 16 towns.

Cyrway swept those towns with votes of 681-261 in Albion, 812-425 in Benton, 848-485 in Clinton, 1,431-1,168 in Fairfield and 1,992-1,590 in Winslow. Unity Township is an unorganized territory, and its residents vote in Albion, according to the secretary of state’s office and the Albion Town Office.

Both Cyrway and Kusiak ran as Maine Clean Election candidates, qualifying for state campaign funding by first collecting individual contributions. Kusiak had a significant fundraising advantage, qualifying for almost $53,700 in Clean Election funds to Cyrway’s roughly $27,900 Clean Election fundraising haul.

District 16 was seen as a key race statewide in the electoral battle to control the Maine Senate. More than $160,000 in outside spending poured in, with over $96,000 spent by outside groups in support of Kusiak. Of that outside money, roughly $18,600 was in support of Cyrway. Slightly more than $42,000 in outside money was spent in opposition to Cyrway, with about $3,500 in opposition to Kusiak. According to the Federal Election Commission, these independent expenditures cannot be made in coordination with a candidate, the candidate’s campaign or th party committee.

Kusiak said she was “disappointed to see” mailers from outside groups making misleading claims about her. When asked about the volume of outside spending in the race, including the fact that a majority of the spending supported her or opposed Cyrway, Kusiak stressed her general support for campaign finance changes.

“I do support campaign finance reform,” she said.

Cyrway said he was thankful that many district voters did not seem swayed by “outside entities trying to make me look bad.”

Though Cyrway appears to have survived the mismatches in campaign and outside spending, Republicans still lost control of the 35-seat Maine Senate. Maine Democrats also retained control of the House of Representatives, and Democrat Janet Mills will serve as Maine’s first female governor after defeating Republican Shawn Moody.

Despite some disappointment about her own race, Kusiak said she is “elated” about Mills’ victory and the Democratic majorities in both houses of the Maine Legislature.

“That’s what I was in this for,” she said.

Cyrway said his approach to legislating won’t change as a member of the minority.

“My approach has always been working with everybody — and that’s not going to change,” Cyrway said, citing bipartisan work in Augusta. “It’s really a lot better at the State House than people realize.”

Matt Junker — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @mattjunker

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