Diamond: The people have spoken

State Senator Bill Diamond

By Bill Diamond

State Senator

Well, at long last the election is over, the votes are (mostly) counted and we can all get back to our lives. This was a very interesting election for me, because for the first time in quite a while, I wasn’t on the ballot. Due to our term limits law, I was unable to seek reelection to the Senate, and as a result I could watch things with a little more distance than usual.

The way the election turned out was both interesting and surprising and I’d like to share my thoughts on it with you.

Nationally, as we all know, President Obama was re-elected, the Democrats retained control of the Senate and the Republicans control the House. Maine made news on the national front by showing its independent streak by electing independent former governor Angus King to the U.S. Senate. Not only did he win, but he received over 50% of the vote, far outpolling the candidates of the major parties.

On a statewide level, the voters seemed to want change and the election showed many gains for the Democrats in the State House. While there will be several recounts, the Democrats have taken back control of both the House and the Senate, however the recounts turn out. This divide between the Republican Governor, Paul LePage, and the Democratic Legislature should make interesting viewing for political junkies for the next two years. If they can work together they can accomplish some great things, but if not then there will be two years of deadlock and frustration. As I said, it will be interesting to see which path they take.

Locally, the results were more mixed, but the overall theme of change was still evident. In Bridgton, the House seat formerly held by Republican Paul Waterhouse has been taken over by Democrat Lisa Villa. My seat, Senate District 12, has switched parties and is now held by Republican Gary Plummer, while his old House seat has been won by Democrat Jane Pringle. Meanwhile, the other Windham House seat, which was held by Democrat Mark Bryant, went to Republican Thomas Tyler. Although these were all vacant seats, and no incumbents were defeated, it tells me that the voters were not bound by any sense of party loyalty and were probably voting for the candidate rather than the party.

Finally, I offer my congratulations to the winners of all the respective races, whatever your party affiliation. You have been given a great honor and with it comes a great responsibility. Use it wisely.

Senator Bill Diamond is a resident of Windham, and serves the District 12 communities of Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, Standish, Windham and Hollis.

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