Turnout was heavy for both the Republican and Democratic party caucuses last weekend.
On the Republican side, Ted Cruz won Maine, with Donald Trump coming in second and John Kasich a distant third. Cruz received a total of 8,550 votes, Trump got 6,070 and Kasich received 2,270.
At the regional Republican caucus held at Westbrook High School, where voters from Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland gathered, Cruz received 540 votes, while Trump got 495 and Kasich received 291.
Overall, Cruz earned 12 delegates to the national Republican convention, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, in mid-July. Trump got nine delegates from Maine and Kasich got two.
This week Rick Bennett, chairman of the Maine GOP, said voter turnout on Saturday was more than three times the number that came out to take part in the 2012 caucuses.
Bennett called this year’s turnout fabulous, but also said he would support returning to a primary system for Maine, as long as the primary was held early enough in the year to be meaningful.
He called the possibility of returning to a primary, as proposed by state Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, Monday, “music to my ears.”
The Democratic caucuses on Sunday were also widely attended. Unlike the Republicans, who voted by secret ballot, the Democrats held traditional, community-wide caucuses.
Locally, only Cape Elizabeth went for Hillary Clinton, while voters in both Scarborough and South Portland followed the lead of the rest of the state in supporting Bernie Sanders.
In carrying Maine, Sanders earned a total of 15 delegates for the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Philadelphia in late July, while Clinton took away seven delegates.
In Cape, the vote was 399 for Clinton and 392 for Sanders; in Scarborough, the vote was 373 for Sanders and 321 for Clinton; and in South Portland, which saw the largest local turnout, the vote was 819 for Sanders and 437 for Clinton.
Jeremy Kennedy, executive director of the Maine Democratic Party, did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday’s caucuses prior to the Current’s print deadline.
But, state chairman Phil Bartlett has reportedly apologized for the long lines voters experienced, saying that thousands were registering to vote for the first time Sunday.
– Kate Irish Collins
Voters wait in line to take part in one of several regional Republican caucuses held Saturday. This one, held at Westbrook High School, included Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland.
Hillary Clinton supporters in Cape Elizabeth Sunday.
More than 1,200 South Portland Dems turned out to take part in Sunday’s caucus.