CHINA: Casey, Preston re-elected; Chelsey wins other race

by Mary Grow

The results of China’s Nov. 8 local voting, as reported by Town Clerk Angela Nelson just before 11 p.m., are as follows.

In local elections, Blane Casey and Janet Preston were re-elected to the select board and Brent Chesley was elected to succeed Ronald Breton. Vote totals were Casey, 1,434; Chesley, 948; and Preston, 1,124.

For the planning board at-large position, James Wilkens was re-elected with 1,442 votes. Nelson expected results of write-in votes for representatives from District 2 and District 4 to be available within a day or two.

District 4 budget committee incumbent Timothy Basham and at-large member Elizabeth Curtis were re-elected with 1,571 and 1,492 votes, respectively. There were only write-in votes for committee secretary and for the District 2 seat.

In a three-way race for one seat on the Regional School Unit 18 board of directors, Nelson wrote that incumbent Dawn Castner defeated challengers Wallace Pooler III and Darrell Stevens; no numbers were on the town website,, early the morning of Nov. 9.

Nelson said all referendum questions were approved. China voters thereby:

  • Appropriated no more than $70,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money for expanded broadband service;
  • Appropriated no more than $21,590 in ARPA money to reimburse China Rescue for a defibrillator;
  • Appropriated no more than $7,000 in ARPA money for improvements to the town’s radio tower;
  • Appropriated no more than $22,000 in ARPA money for three heat pumps for town buildings;
  • Appropriated no more than $75,000 in ARPA money for the town’s senior fuel assistance fund;
  • Appropriated no more than $30,000 in ARPA money for repair of cemetery fences;
  • Amended the town’s quorum ordinance to say that 100 registered voters is the minimum needed to start a town meeting; and
  • Amended two sections of the Land Use Ordinance, as recommended by the planning board.

Qualifications for the senior fuel assistance program are on the town website. An applicant must be 65 or older, a China resident for at least a year, with a household income below $30,000 for a single person or $60,000 for a couple. Applications must be accompanied by a copy of the 2021 Maine income tax filing or, if no taxes were filed, comparable evidence.

One $500 payment per household is authorized, between Nov. 15, 2022, and April 15, 2023, as long as the $75,000 lasts. Recipients of LiHEAP and HEAP are not eligible.

The town will make payments directly to fuel vendors — oil and propane dealers or Central Maine Power Co. for people with electric heat, for example. Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood said unusual situations – like someone burning the wood he bought year before last – will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of helping all eligible residents.

Hapgood did not know whether a payment to a fuel vendor should be reported as income by the homeowner. She recommended asking a tax professional or Maine Revenue Services.

In the race for RSU #18 school board, Dawn Castner was the winner with 851 votes. Darrell Stevens received 403 votes, and Wallace Pooler, 371.

Results of China’s voting on the state ballot

On the Maine state ballot, China voters gave District 1 Democratic Representative to Congress Chellie Pingree 983 votes to 1,197 for Republican challenger Edwin Thelander and 7 for Alan H. MacDonald, a declared write-in candidate.

In the gubernatorial race, Republican former governor Paul LePage received 1,177 China votes to 1,019 for incumbent Democrat Janet Mills and 39 for Independent Sam Hunkler.

For state senator from District 15, incumbent Republican Matthew Pouliot got 1,371 votes to 822 votes for Democratic challenger Storme Jude St. Valle.

In a three-way race for state house District 62, with no incumbent, Republican Katrina Smith had 1,189 votes; Democrat Pamela Swift had 729 votes; and Independent Lindsey Harwath had 282 votes.

In the only contest for Kennebec County office, for register of deeds, in China Matthew James Boucher outpolled incumbent C. Diane Wilson by 1,268 to 877 votes.


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