10/11/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
This week, Maine First Media is taking individual looks at some of the most competitive State House races in the Pine Tree State.
While focusing on the gubernatorial race and federal contests — it is important not to overlook these legislative battles.
Control of the Coliseum on the Kennebec is up for grabs November 6th.
Currently, Democrats hold a 73-70 advantage over the GOP in the House.
Meanwhile, Republicans hold a single vote majority in the State Senate, and there are races that are too close to call.
House District 61: Brooks vs. LaChance
Now, this is a House seat where the Republican challenger is making the most of his opportunity.
Maine-first candidate, Republican Mike LaChance has been a fixture as the “token” conservative in Lewiston politics for many years. He’s built up excellent name recognition, has tremendous experience, has a winning message, is right on the issues and is working hard to win.
If he were running against Handy, we’d be confidently predicting a pick-up for the GOP.
However, he’s running against incumbent Democrat Heidi Brooks, who isn’t quite as vulnerable as Handy. Brooks won by about 8-points in 2014 and nearly 25-points in 2016.
However, Brooks hasn’t faced a challenger like LaChance before, and the district is changing under her feet as blowback from open-border over-reach.
And the Lewiston/Auburn area is moving to the right. In fact, in 2016, President Donald Trump scored 47% of the vote in the district — more than the 45% he received statewide.
Muddying the waters, the race also features a Green Party candidate and a former Republican State House candidate turned independent — making this a real wildcard race.