MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — In a Senate District 7 race featuring two Ellsworth candidates, Democratic incumbent Louie Luchini comfortably held onto his seat over former Republican state senator Brian Langley in his bid to return to Augusta. With nearly 97 percent of precincts reporting, Luchini received 54.6 percent of the votes cast, 13,950, while Langley received 45.4 percent for a total of 11,595. The district includes 28 municipalities in Hancock County, including Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Frenchboro, Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert, Tremont, Trenton and Swan’s Island.
“I’m certainly honored and humbled by the support of our community and looking forward to getting back to work,” Luchini said, adding “I was glad, given the toxic nature of the federal campaigns, that ours was civil and wasn’t a big negative campaign.”
Luchini is a former Nike professional runner, current Ellsworth High School cross–country coach and holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford.
Langley had represented District 7 for four terms, from 2010 to 2018, the same period Luchini represented House District 132, before both legislators termed out.
On Wednesday, Langley said he will still look for ways to help. “I think the real critical message, for me, is you don’t have to be in the legislature to be a leader in your community. Sometimes I think you can do more by being outside the legislature.”
“The numbers were strong and close for quite a while, and there was a record turnout,” he added. “I think that bodes well for democracy.”
While Langley won in the candidates’ hometown of Ellsworth by 66 votes, in Hancock by 210 votes and in 12 other towns, big wins for Luchini in Bar Harbor (2,457 to 1,079) and other towns including Mount Desert helped him return to the Legislature.
“Obviously, navigating this pandemic is going to be the biggest challenge for [Maine] and for every state, so that’s first on the list, whether its protecting public health, supporting small businesses and rebuilding our economy,” Luchini said. “But we also have a lot of unfinished business.”
Luchini said he will continue working on research and development investments, “as a way to build our economy and hopefully create jobs that keep our young people here. That’s always been a big focus of mine.”
Langley had stressed his legislative experience in fiscal matters and local fisheries in his campaign and emphasized supporting small businesses during the pandemic. Langley is owner of Ellsworth restaurant The Union River Lobster Pot and executive director of the Bridge Academy, which he helped found, where high school students can earn college credits.