ELLSWORTH — State Sen. Brian Langley (R-Hancock County) overcame a barrage of negative advertising Tuesday to win a third term against Democratic challenger Ted Koffman of Bar Harbor.
“It was quite a night,” Langley said Wednesday. “That was a tough one. I’m just thankful for the voters of Hancock County. They rejected the massive amounts of outside money dumped into this race.”
With all municipalities reporting, Langley had 8,481 votes to Koffman’s 6,285.
In other House and Senate races in Maine, incumbency ruled as well.
In Senate District 6, Sen. David Burns (R-Washington County) of Whiting held his own against Democrat Anne Perry of Calais. With 13 towns not yet reporting, Burns had 6,504 votes to Perry’s 5,494.
District 6 includes Gouldsboro, Sullivan, Winter Harbor and all of Washington County.
The Senate District 8 seat went to Republican Kimberley Rosen. Rosen, a former state representative, defeated Democrat Paul Davis of Brewer.
Returns showed Rosen with 9,373 votes and Davis with 7,345. The totals do not include returns from Clifton.
District 8 includes Bucksport, Castine, Dedham, Great Pond, Orland, Penobscot and part of Penobscot County.
Incumbent Rep. Louie Luchini (D-Ellsworth) easily held onto his District 132 seat against a challenge by Republican R. Frederick Ehrlenbach of Trenton.
Luchini earned 2,495 votes to 1,559 votes for Ehrlenbach in the district that covers Ellsworth and Trenton.
Rep. Richard Malaby (R-Hancock) easily won another term in District 136 against Democrat Beth Allen of Fletchers Landing Township.
With all towns reporting their results, the total was 2,153 for Malaby and 1,377 for Allen.
The district includes Fletcher’s Landing, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor in Hancock County and Steuben in Washington County.
Rep. Dick Campbell (R-Orrington) held on to his District 130 seat against a challenge by Democrat Emery Deabay of Bucksport.
The results were 2,320 for Campbell and 1,541 for Deabay. District 130 includes Bucksport and Orrington.
Republican Karl Ward of Dedham won the District 131 seat against Democrat Veronica Magnan of Stockton Springs 2,876 to 1,687. The vote totals do not include the town of Prospect.
District 131 includes Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot, Verona Island and two Waldo County towns.
Rep. Ralph Chapman (D-Brooksville) overcame a challenge by Republican Susan Walsh of Blue Hill to retain his seat in District 133, which includes Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick and Surry.
Chapman garnered 2,173 votes to 1,656 for Walsh.
In District 134, Rep. Walter Kumiega III (D-Deer Isle) outdistanced Republican Frank Stanley of Tremont for District 134. The total vote was 2,292 for Kumiega and 1,055 for Stanley.
District 134 includes the Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Stonington, Southwest Harbor, Swan’s Island, Tremont and three Knox County towns.
In District 135, which includes Bar Harbor, Lamoine and Mount Desert, Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor) fended off a challenge by Republican Maurice Marshall of Lamoine.
Hubbell had 2,278 votes to 1,115 for Marshall.
In District 137, Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) held his seat against opposition from Democrat Oscar Emerson of Bradley.
The vote, 1,639 to 1,226, did not include the town of Greenbush.
District 137 includes Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Franklin, Great Pond and parts of Penobscot and Washington counties.
Langley, whose District 7 includes all of Hancock County that is not included in Districts 6 and 8, said he was discouraged by the $140,000 spent by the Democratic Party and outside interests to campaign against him.
“I worry we’ll find it harder and harder to find candidates who will subject themselves to this,” Langley said.
He said the vote also demonstrates that negative advertising is counterproductive.
One ad criticized his vote not to override a veto of a bill that would have required the food industry to disclose the presence of the chemical BPA in their products.
The ad characterized Langley as being willing to expose children to toxic chemicals. He said it was simply a bad bill.
“It proves you can’t buy this seat with negative ads and lies,” Langley said. “If they could come out of the dark and hold up their fliers and stand up in front of kids and say, ‘This is how you win a student council election,’ that’s my guiding principle.”
Langley said he felt like he had two opponents, Koffman and financier S. Donald Sussman, husband of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).
Sussman donated almost $3 million to Maine political campaigns. Langley said he believes a hefty amount of the ads against him were paid by Sussman money.
“Many people told me at the polls yesterday that they were disgusted with the negative ads,” Langley said. “This made me proud to live where I live.”
Koffman said he too deplored the negative ads. Someone showed him a flier, he said, that claimed Koffman was against bear baiting — a hot referendum issue in the election.
Tied to the flier, he said, was a footnote on a vote he cast in the Legislature in 2007 that was related to bear snaring.
“It downgrades public service,” Koffman said of the negative campaigning. “Everyone gets mud on them.”
“I wish Senator Langley every success,” he added. “He is a well regarded person, well liked and popular. I knew right from the start this was going to be a challenge.”
Another race isn’t out of the question.
“It’s a little too soon to think about another journey,” Koffman said. “But I’m not taking my signs to the recycling dispenser.”