Fellow senators stand and applaud as newly elected Sen. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, left, is escorted to his seat by Senate Sgt. At Arms Bruce Bryant at beginning of the Senate session Wednesday in the Augusta Civic Center. Hickman, who previously served in the House, won a special election for Senate District 14 on Tuesday, becoming the first Black man to be elected to both chambers of the Maine Legislature. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Democrat Craig Hickman made history Tuesday by becoming the first Black man to be elected to both chambers of the Maine Legislature and was sworn in Wednesday.

In polling across 11 cities and towns, Hickman, who lives in Winthrop, earned 62.5% of the vote in the Maine Senate District 14 special election, winning all but two towns.

Republican William Guerrette, 61, earned 37.45% of the vote, winning Pittston, where he lives, and West Gardiner.

In terms of vote totals, Hickman earned 5,248 votes and Guerrette earned 3,136.

After the race was called, Hickman, 53, said he was expecting the contest to be closer.

“When I first was elected I remember saying that the voters pretty much have proven that it doesn’t matter what you look (like) or who you love, or how you walk or talk,” he said. “It only matters what you do. I just live that all day, every day.”

Hickman served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, wrapping up his final term last year. When he was elected he was the first openly gay Black man to serve in that chamber.

“It’s always humbling for people to say yes to you and give you their vote,” he said, adding his thanks to the people who supported him in the race.

Republican candidate for Senate District 14 William Guerrette greets voters Tuesday outside the polling place in Gardiner Area High School. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

A call to Guerrette was not immediately returned Tuesday night.

Guerrette, a small business owner, was elected to one term in the Maine House of Representatives in 1994. He did not win reelection.

This election won’t change the balance of power in the state Senate, which now has 22 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The contest drew more than $125,000 in donations, with Hickman raising nearly $84,000 in a traditionally funded campaign, and Guerrette raising about $41,000 in a Clean Elections Act financed campaign. In the last decade, the only Senate District 14 race to attract more money was in 2016 when six candidates raised $149,000.

In August 2020, Hickman, an organic farmer and owner of a bed and breakfast, was featured in a video montage at the virtual roll call during the Democratic National Convention, announcing Maine’s delegate votes for Joe Biden, who became the Democrats’ nominee for president.

As with the November 2020 general election, early voting was in place for the special election, with in-person voting on the day of the election.

Newly elected Sen. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, listens and follows along during a legislative session Wednesday in the Augusta Civic Center. Hickman, who previously served in the House, won a special election for Senate District 14 on Tuesday, becoming the first Black man to be elected to both chambers of the Maine Legislature. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

The Senate district covers Chelsea, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Manchester, Monmouth, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, West Gardiner and Winthrop.

Shenna Bellows was elected to her third term representing Senate District 14 in November. She was subsequently elected secretary of state by the Maine Legislature and was not sworn in as a senator, creating the vacancy.

When polls closed at 8 p.m. the League of Women Voters of Maine, which observed polling in the district, announced few problems had been witnessed in a news release, particularly in the area of COVID-19 protocols.

Throughout the day, league volunteers tweeted updates from across the district, noting the conditions at a a number of polling places.

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