Chase, Gilles in, Hathorne out in NG


NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectboard Chairwoman Linda Chase and Budget Committee member Karen Gilles on Tuesday won the two Selectboard seats on the ballot in New Gloucester, beating out current board member Stephen Hathorne.

Gilles – who will serve on the board with her mother, current board member Lenora Conger – received the most votes with 714. Chase was second with 596, and Hathorne third with 511.

“It’s just really humbling, and I’m honored,” Gilles said Wednesday. 

In May, Gilles told the Lakes Region Weekly that she and her mother are “independent people” and “there will be no issue” with the two of them serving on the board together. Gilles noted that she already works with her mother at Conger’s home health care business. 

In early April, Chase was one of three board members who voted to find the town’s term limit ordinance invalid based on legal advice. Before that 3-2 vote, she was set to be term-limited out after serving on the board since 2009. 

Chase said Tuesday was “a very nice day” that provided an opportunity to connect with people in town she may not have seen in a while. She said she is looking forward to working with Gilles on the board, and highlighted the town’s new public works garage project and an update to the firefighter pay policy as important issues. 

In May, she described herself as “pretty level-headed” and “willing to put in the work that goes along” with serving on the board. 

Hathorne, who helped lead the initial term-limit effort last year, said Tuesday’s results were “very disappointing” and continues to be frustrated that Chase ran after the term-limits issue. 

“She turned a blind eye to what the public wanted,” Hathorne said, adding that he was upset Wednesday but would cool off and possibly decide to run for the board again in the future. 

‘I think people understand why I did what I did,” said Chase, who had expressed concern previously that the term-limit ordinance could open the town up to legal action. 

In other election results Tuesday, Misty Coolidge won the Democratic primary for the State House District 65 seat, which includes New Gloucester and part of Poland. Robert Maheu was also on the Democratic ballot for the District 65 seat, but Coolidge said Tuesday that Maheu dropped out before the election. Coolidge received 378 votes and Maheu received 47.

Staff in the New Gloucester Town Clerk’s Office said they did not receive offical notification from Maheu that he was withdrawing from the race. 

Coolidge will now face Amy Arata in the general election. Arata ran unopposed for the Republican nomination and received 491 votes.

The District 65 seat is currently held by Rep. Ellie Espling, who is termed out and is running to replace Sen. Eric Brakey in Senate District 20. Espling ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, and will square off in the general elections against Auburn physician Ned Claxton, who was similarly unopposed in his primary.

Brakey won the Republican nomination Tuesday to challenge U.S. Sen. Angus King. 

Jason Hart and former Selectboard member Laura Sturgis ran unopposed and won seats to represent New Gloucester on the SAD 15 School Board.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

New Gloucester candidates greeted voters outside the polls Tuesday. From left to right are Selectboard candidate Stephen Hathorne, Democratic candidate for State House District 65 Misty Coolidge, Selectboard candidate Karen Gilles, Selectboard candidate Linda Chase, and Republican candidate for House District 65 Amy Arata.