AUGUSTA – A recount Wednesday in the House District 44 contest, which sought to clarify the results of voting from some 50 ballots set aside on election night, resulted in Robert Walker, R-Lincolnville, winning the seat.
Meanwhile, in a recount for results in House District 39 – Hampden, Newburgh, Dixmont – Brian M. Duprey, R-Hampden, remained the winner with 2,232 votes. His opponent David Anderson Higgins, D-Hampden, received 2,214 votes.
Election night results in the District 44’s two Knox County and five Waldo County towns – Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill and Searsmont – had Walker defeating Democratic candidate Peter Misluk, 2,085 to 2,075.
After the recount, Walker had 2,118 votes to Misluk’s 2,100 votes, Doug Dunbar of the Secretary of State’s office said Wednesday. Walker was declared the winner.
In addition to the closeness of the initial vote tally, an odd circumstance in Hope further clouded the results. The town clerk inadvertently put 50 ballots in a locked and sealed ballot box before votes from those ballots in the House 44 race could be tallied.
With the margin between the two candidates at just 10 votes, the 50 uncounted ballots were could potentially changing the initial results. The uncounted ballots were shipped to Augusta and counted during Wednesday’s recount.
Dunbar did not have individual town ballot results available Wednesday afternoon.
The seat had been held by Barbara Merrill of Appleton. Merrill, elected to her first term in 2004 as a Democrat, resigned from the party and then ran for governor as an independent, coming in third in the five-way contest.
Misluk, of Searsmont, ran for the Senate District 23 seat representing Waldo County in 2004 but lost to incumbent Republican Carol Weston.