Democrats picked up a seat in the Maine House of Representatives on Nov. 2. In the District 86 special election, Augusta City Council member Raegan LaRochelle (D) defeated U.S. Army veteran James Orr (R) with 56.2% of the vote. LaRochelle’s term will last until December 2022. To keep hold of her seat, LaRochelle will have to run for re-election in 2022 for a two-year term.
The seat became vacant on July 4 when Justin Fecteau (R) resigned because he moved outside of the district. He had represented the district since 2018. He was re-elected in 2020 with 57% of the vote.
Democrats currently have a 79-65 majority in the Maine House with five third-party members and two vacancies. Maine has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
As of Nov. 4, 65 state legislative special elections were scheduled or had taken place in 2021. Including the District 86 race, five seats have changed partisan hands in 2021. Two seats flipped from Republican control to Democratic control, while three seats flipped from Democratic control to Republican control. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Maine held 15 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.