FAIRFIELD — Republican Shelley Rudnicki defeated Democrat Aaron Rowden last week to secure the Maine House District 108 seat representing Fairfield, Mercer and Smithfield.

Rudnicki, who also is the chairwoman of the School Administrative District 49 school board, defeated Rowden, a current Fairfield town councilor, in each of the three towns by an overall difference of 563 votes. The votes were 1,453-1,107 in Fairfield, 223-132 in Mercer and 311-185 in Smithfield.

“I thought it was great,” Rudnicki said about the Nov. 6 election result. “I worked hard to meet the people in my district.”

Rowden addressed his defeat in a post online.

“The votes are in and I was not successful in this election,” Rowden said in a Wednesday post on his Facebook campaign page. “I wish the best to all who were elected and hope they work diligently for the people of our great state.”

Rudnicki will take over for current District 108 Rep. John Picchiotti, who said before the election that he had been in Augusta “long enough” and felt it was time to step away from state politics at age 75. Picchiotti was reelected to the Fairfield Town Council this week in a three-way race for two seats with current Chairman Michael Taylor and newcomer Peter Lawrence. Lawrence finished second and won election to the council alongside Picchiotti.

“I want to thank every person who has supported me and taken the time to speak to me in this campaign and in the past,” Rowden added on Facebook. “Your support means a lot to me and I am proud of everything each of you has done to support our message of good and compassionate government, personal liberty, and leaving a lasting and positive environmental and economic legacy. Even though I did not win, many candidates who believe as we do were elected and it is my hope that the values we share will be the values on display in Augusta this term.”

Rudnicki made reference to the Democrats controlling both houses of the Maine Legislature in the next session and said she would “certainly work with them” and hopes Democrats are willing to work with her.

Rowden said in an earlier Facebook post last Tuesday that he would “continue to work for my community as a town councilor, and I hope that the next two years will be good even if I am not in Augusta.”

Rudnicki does not expect her two roles to prevent “real serious conflicts” in terms of scheduling, and expressed confidence in school board Vice Chairman Tim Martin and his ability to lead the board if she is unable to attend a meeting. Fairfield voters re-elected Martin to the board last week, as one of only two candidates running for the two available school board seats on the Fairfield ballot.

Matt Junker — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @mattjunker

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