Unofficial results of contested races in China, Vassalboro, Fairfield & Waterville (June 2024)

by Mary Grow


At the polls on June 11, China voters approved all articles on the warrant for the annual town business meeting. A few more than 500 votes were cast; the majority of the articles received more than 350 affirmative votes.

The three least popular articles were the request for $1,184,525 for town administration, which was approved by a vote of 349 to 162; the revised sections of the Land Development Code incorporating new state laws, approved 346 to 145; and the much-discussed new Solar Energy Systems Ordinance, approved 331 to 163.

The revised Planning Board Ordinance got 396 favorable votes, with 106 voters opposed.

On a separate ballot, the RSU #18 school budget validation referendum, supporting the 2024-25 budget that RSU voters approved in May, received 328 votes, to 181 opposed (with seven blank ballots).

China’s local elections will be held Nov. 5.


Vassalboro voters voted on June 11 in local elections; on two proposed ordinance amendments; and to validate the 2024-25 school budget they had approved at their open town meeting on June 3. Town Clerk Cathy Coyne reported results as follows.

In uncontested local elections, Christopher French was re-elected to the select board with 289 votes, and Jolene Gamage was re-elected to the school board with 257 votes.

The revised solid waste ordinance was approved by a vote of 202 in favor to 88 opposed.

The revised Marijuana Business Ordinance was approved by a vote of 193 in favor to 100 opposed.

The school budget was re-approved by a vote of 217 yes to 79 no.

In the only contest on the three state primary ballots, between First District Republicans Andrew Piantidosi and Ronald Russell, Piantidosi got 104 votes and Russell 167 votes.

Coyne said 296 of Vassalboro’s more than 3,100 registered voters participated in the June 11 voting.


by Roland D. Hallee

U.S. House of Representatives – Republican

Austin Theriualt, 189
Michael Soboleski, 96

Maine Senate District #16 – Republican

Scott Cyrway, 188
Michael D. Perkins, 115

M.S.A.D. #49 School Budget

Yes – 291
No – 199

M.S.A.D #49 School Board (2)

Maxwell N. Kenney, 370
Ryan T. Warren, 327


by Roland D. Hallee

Representative to Legislature District #64 – Democrat

Flavia M. DeBrito, 185
Andrew S. Dent, 92

Representative to Legislature District #65 – Democrat

Cassie L. Julia, 490
Bruce A.White, 280

State Senate District #16 – Republican

Scott W. Cyrway, 178
Michael D. Perkins, 136

Representative to Congress, Distcit #1 – Republican

Ronald C. Russell, 166
Andrew Piantidosi, 101

China voters to be presented with three ballots on June 11, 2024

by Mary Grow

China voters will be presented with three ballots at the polls on June 11: the annual town business meeting, the school budget referendum and a choice of state primary ballots. All ballots can be previewed on the town website,, under the Elections tab on the left side of the main page.

Voting will be in the portable classroom behind the town office on Lakeview Drive. After a moderator is elected at 6:45 a.m., polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The warrant for China’s annual town business meeting has 32 articles. Voters will act on authorizations to spend town money on listed purposes (and set the fall 2024 and spring 2025 tax due dates to collect some of the money); grant authority to select board members to carry out official functions; and accept or reject three amended or new ordinances (Arts. 29, 30 and 31).

There are no local elections. They will be held Nov. 5.

Select board and budget committee members debated many of the June 11 articles at multiple meetings, sometimes with input from audience members. A May 6 public hearing on the warrant was sparsely attended.

Some of the articles discussed were:

Art. 4, administration expenses, $1,184,525, which includes a 3.2 percent cost of living increase plus one percent merit raises (the same increases are in other budget lines that include town employees).
Art. 5, town boards’ and committees’ expenses, $84,220. For the second year, this article includes no compensation for select board members.
Art. 7, public safety, increased to $420,931, mostly because Delta Ambulance’s fee has risen from $15 per resident this year to $25 per resident in 2024-25.
Art. 9, public works, increased to $1.848 million, including planning for truck replacements, but no additional staff.
Art. 10, $74,000 for community support organizations (China Historical Society, two libraries, two lake associations, Golden Agers, China Rescue, supplemental funds for the three volunteer fire departments, veterans’ markers and Memorial Day expenses).
Art. 28, authorizing the select board to contract for ambulance services, in case the contract with Delta Ambulance falls through.
Art. 32, authorizing up to $155,489 from federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money for the long-discussed records storage vault at the town office and $70,000 from undesignated fund balance (surplus) for a broadband project, the latter to be spent only on (future) town meeting approval.

The budget committee recommends voters approve all proposed expenditures. At their April 3 meeting, budget committee members supported select board members’ plan to spend up to $296,715 for a new town truck, provided that the select board gets at least a second price quote before signing a contract.

* * * * * *

Three articles propose ordinance amendments. These, too, are on the website under the Elections tab.

Art. 29 asks voters to replace the current Planning Board ordinance, dated 2008.

If voters approve the new ordinance, the six planning board members (five regular, one alternate) will be appointed by the select board, instead of elected; and the four planning board districts will be abolished, so that a resident of any part of town can fill any vacancy.

Board members’ two-year terms, their compensation ($25 per meeting with a maximum of $700 per year) and their responsibilities would be unchanged.

Art. 30 asks if voters want to amend parts of three chapters of China’s Land Development Code. Two documents are on the website, one including explanations of the changes.

Substantive changes are mandated by the new state affordable housing law, known as LD 2003 and titled “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions.” China’s town attorney advised on wording.

Major changes include creation of a South China Development District and its description and regulations. Its purpose is to “provide for the siting and construction of affordable housing, and resources and services in a clustered (higher density) land area.”

The district, described in an appendix, is the area around South China Village and along Route 3 and Route 32 South (Windsor Road) that was recommended as a development district in China’s 2020 comprehensive plan. It goes west to the Vassalboro line and south on Route 32 just past the Weeks Mills Road intersection.

A map titled Future Land Use Map, page 14 of appendices to the China Comprehensive Plan, shows the area. This map is found on the town website under Ordinances, Policies and Orders, named Comprehensive Plan Appendices – March 2022.

A second major change allows for accessory dwelling units on residential lots. Provisions allow a house-owner to add a separate unit or a separate building to provide additional housing.

A third provision required by the state amends the subdivision ordinance in the Land Development Code to add what are named affordable housing developments.

Art. 31 asks voters to accept the long-discussed Solar Energy Systems Ordinance as a new Chapter 8 in the Land Development Code.

This ordinance, if approved, will set standards for large ground-mounted solar energy systems. Large means any system with more than an acre of panel area; some requirements – height limit, setback and screening requirements — apply to systems with more than 5,000 square feet of panel area.

The ordinance includes requirements for decommissioning a system after its useful life ends, with a required pre-construction guarantee of decommissioning funding in the form of a “surety bond, letter of credit or other form of financial assistance.”

The select board and the planning board recommend that voters approve all three ordinances.

* * * * * *

A separate ballot has only one question, asking if China voters want to approve the Regional School Unit #18 budget that was adopted at a May 16 RSU meeting.

Information on the RSU #18 website says the proposed 2024-25 school budget totals $44,377,494.71, an increase of $1,459,447.19 over the current year’s budget.

The income section of the budget shows how much each member town is asked to contribute. For China, the amounts are: under “Local EPS” (Educational Programs and Services), $3,487,526.34, an increase of $216,273; and under “Local Additional,” $2,166,576.72, an increase of $228,274. China’s total share is $5,654,103, an increase of $444,547 over the current year.

In addition, RSU 18 Superintendent Carl Gartley said in an email, there is a $10,716.20 assessment for the adult education program.

The EPS figure, Gartley explained, is the amount “the state deems necessary for all students to achieve Maine’s Learning Results.” State officials calculate each EPS based on the municipal valuation, population, number of students and other factors. Each municipality must raise the amount the state calculates to be eligible for its full state subsidy, Gartley said.

Member towns in RSU 18 are Belgrade, China, Oakland, Rome and Sidney.

* * * * * *

In China’s June 11 primary voting for the state and national legislatures, the only contest is on the Republican ballot for the District One Congressional seat. Andrew Piantidosi, of Cape Elizabeth, and Ronald C. Russell, of Kennebunkport, seek the nomination. The winner will run in November against Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree, of North Haven, who has no opponent on the Democratic ballot.

There is also a Green Independent ballot, with no candidate’s name.

In the Maine State Senate primaries for District #15 (Augusta, Belgrade, China, Mount Vernon, Sidney, and Vassalboro), Republican Richard T. Bradstreet, of Vassalboro, and Democrat Raegan French LaRochelle, of Augusta, are unopposed.

In House District #62 (China, Palermo, Somerville, Windsor and Hibberts Gore), Republican incumbent Katrina Smith and Democrat Pamela Swift are unopposed. Both are Palermo residents.

State law says voters enrolled in a party may vote only on that party’s ballot; but unenrolled voters may request any one of the three party ballots. All primary ballots have a line for a write-in candidate.

Flynn announces legislative candidacy

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn, of Albion, has announced his candidacy to represent Winslow, Albion, Unity Plantation and Freedom in the Maine Legislature. He has been an Albion resident for 33 years. Upon graduating St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, he and his wife Kate have made Maine their home.

“I have been an entrepreneur, owned and operated Freedom General Store, in Waldo County, am a Licensed Maine Real Estate Agent, currently operate Freedom Coin Company, in Albion. I also serve as the Pastor of The Freedom Congregational Church in Freedom.”

Service to the community is a big part of his life. “I have coached baseball at every level of Fairfield PAL, was the Lawrence Jr. High seventh grade baseball coach, and assistant coach at Lawrence Sr. High School.

“I have served on the boards of The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, St. John Church Finance Commission, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and am currently a selectman in the Town of Albion.”

He continues, “I decided to run for this office because I feel like our communities have lost their voice in Augusta. Every business has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window. Families and small businesses are struggling to pay the light bill. Bureaucrats are pushing to replace families with government. I’ve had enough, and I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines saying, ‘someone should do something.’ I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to be the “Someone,” so I’m asking for your support as I start this journey.”

In conclusion, “I’m not interested in partisan politics, but I am interested in being a voice for the people. I’ll look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail over the next six months.”

China & Vassalboro presidential primary results

China Town Clerk Angela Nelson reported the following results from Tuesday’s primary election.

Two hundred and two Democratic votes were cast, with Joseph R. Biden, Jr., receiving 164, or 81 percent. Dean B. Phillips got 19 votes; declared write-in candidate Stephen P. Lyons got 17; and two ballots were left blank.

On the Republican side, 461 ballots were cast, 358 (78 percent) for Donald J. Trump. Nikki R. Haley got 91 votes (20 percent). Trailing well behind were Ron DeSantis with four votes; Vivek G. Ramaswamy with three; blank ballots and write-ins with two votes each; and Ryan L. Binkley with one vote.

Nelson called the 663 votes “a lower than normal turnout for China,” but, she said, “it was a nice steady flow all day.” Unexpected visitors included Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and a reporter from Channel 6 News, who stood outside the polling room under an umbrella.

* * * * * *

Vassalboro town clerk Cathy Coyne reported 523 presidential primary ballots cast in that town, 367 Republican and 156 Democratic.

Donald J. Trump got 284 Republican votes (77 percent), followed by Nikki R. Haley with 80 (22 percent) and Vivek G. Ramaswamy with two. There was one blank ballot; no one voted for Ryan L. Binkley or Ron DeSantis.

Joseph R. Biden received 128, or 82 percent, of the Democratic votes. Dean B. Phillips received 14, and there were 14 blank ballots. No Vassalboro voter chose Stephen P. Lyons.

China GOP to caucus

There will be a Town of China Republican Caucus on Thursday March 14, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of a Maine Republican town caucus is to elect delegates and a delegation chairman to the Maine Republican State Convention to be held April 26 and 27, 2024; to elect representatives to the Kennebec County Republican Committee; to elect the officers of the Town of China Republican Committee; and to review and ratify bylaws for the town committee. Republican candidates for state and local offices present will be given an opportunity to speak. Any registered Republican voter in the Town of China can participate. The caucus will convene in the portable building behind the town office at 6:30 p.m.

Laura Jones announces candidacy for House

Laura Jones

Laura Jones, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, and Vassalboro native, has announced her election campaign for House District #61, in Vassalboro and part of Sidney.

“Vassalboro has always been where my heart is and where I was happy to return to. I served my country for 25 years and now I am happy to serve my community. I will continue to work as hard as I can in Augusta for the people of Vassalboro and Sidney.” said Jones.

Jones, 52, a fourth generation Vassalboro resident, was born in Waterville and raised in Vassalboro. Jones served 25 years in the military, with deployments and assignments to Haiti, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Japan. She currently works at her family’s business, Fieldstone Gardens, in Vassalboro. She has been very active in the community helping organize and promote community events for the Vassalboro Historical Society, Grange, Mill and Vassalboro Business Association. She currently serves on the Board of the Vassalboro Historical Society and is their treasurer.

“Laura’s contributions to the community since retiring from military service are commendable and her life experiences will serve her well in Augusta,” said Barbara Redmond, former Vassalboro selectperson. “Laura is an excellent candidate and will do a great job representing the residents of Vassalboro and part of Sidney in the legislature”.

Visit Laura Jones on Facebook and her campaign website.

Elise Brown, of Liberty, announces run for Waldo County Commissioner seat

Elise Brown

Elise Brown, of Liberty, announced her candidacy for the position of Waldo County Commissioner in District #3 to represent the towns of Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Morrill, Palermo, Liberty, Searsmont, Thorndike, Troy, and Unity.

Elise has been in local public service since 1994, holding roles in the Liberty community including firefighter, fire chief, EMT, Director of Emergency Management, and budget committee chairman.

At the Waldo County level, Elise Brown has worked closely with the Emergency Management Agency, Sheriff’s Office, Corrections’ Reentry Center, and Regional Communications Center.

Elise co-owns a residential weatherization contracting business with staff of 40 serving coastal Maine. There she heads the leadership team, information technology, customer service, and marketing.

For more information on her campaign, visit Facebook Page Elise Brown for Waldo County Commissioner District #3, email, or call Elise at 207-592-2970.

EVENTS: Upcoming Area Caucuses 2024

Somerset County Democratic caucuses

All registered Democrats are welcome to attend the caucus in your area. If you are currently unenrolled or not yet registered, we will have registration forms at each caucus.

Region 1: Detroit, Pittsfield

Pittsfield Town Office, 112 Somerset Ave, Pittsfield

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

Region 2: Athens, Brighton Plt, Cambridge, Canaan, Harmony, Hartland, Palmyra, Ripley, St. Albans

Canaan Fire Department, 265 Main St, Canaan

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.

Region 3: Cornville, Skowhegan

Skowhegan Community Center, 39 Poulin Dr, Skowhegan

Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.

Region 4: Fairfield

Fairfield Community Center, 61 Water St, Fairfield

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 12:30 p.m.

Region 5: Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield

Norridgewock Town Office, 16 Perkins St, Norridgewock

Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

Region 6: Madison, Solon

Solon Fire Department, 119 S Main St, Solon

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

Region 7: Anson, Embden, Highland Plt, New Portland, Starks

Carrabec Community School, 56 N Main St, North Anson

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 1:30 p.m.

Region 8: Bingham, Caratunk, Dennistown Plt, Jackman, Moose River, Moscow, Pleasant Ridge Plt, Rockwood Strip Twp, The Forks Plt, West Forks Plt

Moscow Town Hall, 110 Canada Rd, Moscow

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

For additional information, please e-mail the Somerset County Democratic Committee at

Waldo County GOP to caucus

The Waldo County Republican Committee has announced that the Waldo County Republicans from all 26 towns in Waldo County will caucus on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at the Searsport MSHS, 24 Mortland Rd, Searsport. Registration will begin at 9 am, candidate presentations at 10 am, and town caucuses to follow.

The purpose of the caucus is to elect members to the Waldo County Republican Town Committees to organize for the upcoming elections. Voter registration sign up will be available. You must be a registered Republican to vote at the caucus. Delegates and alternates to the 2024 Maine GOP convention will also be elected. The Maine GOP state convention will be held April 26-27, 2024, at the Augusta Civic Center. All Waldo County Republicans are urged to attend this important event.

The snow date of the caucus is February 10. Weather cancellation will be announced on the Waldo County GOP Facebook page or contact

Lincoln County Democrats to caucus Feb. 3 and 4

Democrats in Lincoln County will gather for biennial caucuses Feb. 3 and 4 to begin organizing for the 2024 elections. All registered Democrats are invited to participate in their town’s meeting. Attendees will hear from candidates, conduct local committee business, and elect local delegates to the Maine Democratic State Convention held May 31 to June 1.

LCDC will also collect items for the organization’s Food Pantry Project, including paper towels, toilet paper, coffee and tea, hot/cold cereal and canned soups.

Doors open at start times below for voter check-in. Candidate speeches in most locations will begin shortly after check-in. In the event of a weather-related cancellation, caucuses will be held one week later at the same times and locations.

Saturday, Feb. 3

10 a.m. – Noon: Somerville

Windsor Town Office (2nd Fl), 523 Ridge Rd.

Noon – 2 p.m.: Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, Nobleboro, South Bristol

Great Salt Bay Community School, 559 Main St., Damariscotta

2 – 4 p.m.: Alna, Jefferson, Whitefield, Wiscasset

Wiscasset Elementary School, 83 Federal St.

Sunday, Feb. 4

Noon – 2 p.m.: Westport Island

Old Town Hall, 1217 Main Rd, Westport Island.

2 – 4 p.m.: Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, Southport

Boothbay Region High School, 236 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.

Disclaimer: This event is not sponsored by the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School district, nor does it necessarily represent the values and opinions of the Board of Trustees, the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor School Committee, or the school community at large.

4 – 6 p.m.: Dresden

Pownalborough Hall, 314 Patterson Rd, Dresden.

4 -.m.: Bremen, Waldoboro

Miller Elementary School, 145 Kalers Cr St/Rte 32, Waldoboro.

Complete information about the caucuses, LCDC, its meetings, and other activities can be found at Questions can be emailed to

China election results (November 2023)

The unofficial returns from the November 7, 2023, municipal election for the town of China are as follows:

For select board: Chadwick = 931, Marquis = 810.

Planning board: District 3/ Mather = 996, Alternate At Large/Tripodi = 978

Budget Committee: Chairman/Rumpf = 1,037, District 1/Maroon = 1,062.

All races were uncontested.

All write in positions will be determined later in the week.

The China election saw a turnout of 1,303 voters.

Fairfield election notes (November 2023)

Residents of Fairfield may cast their ballots on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at the Fairfield Community Center, 61 Water Street, Fairfield, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The local ballot will include:

  • Council: one seat, 3-year Term, there are three candidates
  • KWD: 1 Seat, 3-year term, there is one Declared Write-In
  • Charter Commission: six seats, 1-year Term, Write-In only contest; must be 18, qualified registered voters of Fairfield, willing to take the Oath of Office/Code of Conduct, and serve in accordance with the Town Charter and State Statutes (no candidates took out nomination papers by deadline)


You may request an absentee ballot up to 90 days prior to election however;
Ballots are available 30 Days Prior to Election: October 9. Deadline to request Absentee is November 2. Absentee ballot s may be dropped off in the Drop-Box (24/7 Secure/no-contact).

Absentee Application: MAILERS: These are not sent from the municipality – these are facilitated by the political parties or third party drives – whatever manner you request an absentee, please submit only ONE request per election.

In-person: Voter Registration, Absentee Requests: Mon, – Fri,m 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Late Hours, October 30, 5 – 6 p.m.

Voter Registration:

Not Registered to Vote? Contact Town Clerk/Voter Registrar (ID & Proof of Residency required)

Closed Period: 21 days prior to election, thereafter all voter registrations must be in person with ID and Proof of Residency (Closed-Period/In-Person only commences on October 17, 2023). Voter Registration & General Information on Elections

Party Enrollment Changes: Voters wishing to change from one party to another will be automatically subject to the 15- day wait period, and must remain in the party three months. (There is no wait period for unenrolled voters to enter into a party)

Maine’s new semi-open primaries effective January 1, 2024:

A registered voter not enrolled in a political party may participate, subject to the restrictions of section 145, subsection 3, in a party’s primary election without enrolling in that political party. An unenrolled voter may vote in only one party’s primary election.

Local political coalition receives grant submitted

photo credit: United Valley Democrats Facebook page

submitted by Megan Marquis

Representatives from the local United Valley Democratic Committee (formerly China Dems) are diligently working alongside Kennebec County Democratic Committee on the Contest Every Race grant. Kennebec County is one of two counties in Maine, where groups are set to receive a $3,000 grant from Movement Labs via their Contest Every Race project. Contest Every Race (CER) is awarding grants to more than 300 political groups nationwide. This is the first year they have included Maine in the grant winners.

CER focuses on strengthening existing local rural organizations on Democratic electoral efforts. It provides an additional layer of resources, technical support, and training for rural and underserved community organizers. The grant program supports rural Democrats to connect with one another, build more power, and support the mission of not leaving any race uncontested.

Nationwide, nearly 100,000 elections go uncontested every year. These positions include municipality, county, and election officials; school board candidates; judges; attorneys; and law enforcement officials such as sheriffs and deputies.

CER to date has helped 5,563 new candidates. 44 percent of the candidates have won their races. Fifty-eight percent of the new candidates have been women of color.

To show your support, join the United Valley Democratic Committee’s End-of-Summer Celebration on Saturday, September 16, from 2 – 8 p.m., at the 327 Stevens Shore Rd., Palermo, ME.