Parties select nominees for Maine House special election

Two candidates are competing in a special election for the Maine House of Representatives District 52 seat. The filing deadline for candidates to appear on the ballot was February 22, 2019. The special election is set for April 2, 2019.
 
The seat became vacant on February 1, 2019, when incumbent Jennifer DeChant (D) resigned to take a job in the private sector. DeChant was first elected in 2012 and was most recently re-elected on November 6, 2018.
 
Democrats selected Sean Paulhus as their candidate, and Republicans selected Kenneth Sener. Paulhus currently serves as vice chairman of the Bath City Council. Sener is a retired Navy captain who has not held public office before.
 
A third candidate, Christopher Hallowell, was nominated prior to the filing deadline but will not appear on the ballot. Hallowell was nominated to run as a Libertarian; however, the Libertarian Party in Maine does not currently have enough registered voters to retain its standing as a qualified party.
 
To qualify as an official political party in Maine, 10,000 voters enrolled as members of that party must cast ballots in a general election. Currently, the three official parties in Maine are the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the Green Independent Party. As of November 7, 2018, the Libertarian Party in Maine only had 6,168 registered voters. The Libertarian Party has filed to regain its official status and has until January 2, 2020, to gain at least 5,000 enrollees.
 
Non-party state House of Representatives candidates in Maine must submit 50 signatures from the district they are seeking to represent in order to appear on the ballot. Hallowell did not submit the signatures, and he, therefore, will not appear on the ballot. The deadline for write-in candidates was on March 1, and no write-in candidates filed.
 
Maine is currently a Democratic trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.



About the author

Jane Scharl

Jane Scharl is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jane.scharl@ballotpedia.org

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