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Janet Mills Narrowly Leads Democratic Primary Race For Governor

While Shawn Moody has been declared the winner in the Republican primary race for governor, Maine Democrats have not been able to call a winner of Tuesday’s primary. Attorney General Janet Mills is currently leading challenger Adam Cote and, says she's feeling optimistic about her race for the Blaine House.

The dance tunes that were playing in the background of Janet Mills Lewiston campaign headquarters could foreshadow a party in the coming days. Around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, Mills spoke to her supporters.

"I don't have all the results but it feels good,” she says. “It feels good. We're pretty well ahead in all the areas we heard back from so far. I'm very pleased with this day. Having gone to a dozen or more polling places across the state, got a good reception from everybody there. There's a lot of excitement in the air.”

In the final sprint toward election day, Mills and Adam Cote ran television ads attacking each other. But Mills says she's proud of the campaign she ran. Her message focused on expanding Medicaid, addressing the opioid crisis and investing in education and infrastructure such as broadband access.

But her campaign manager, Mike Ambler, says people know Mills best as someone who stood up to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. She has been Maine's attorney general for the past four years, and she's also been a legislator and a district attorney. She's worked hard to get to this point, she says, and so have the six other Democrats in the race. She considers them close friends.

"I applaud their efforts, too, their hard work in this campaign, and I hope that we all remain good friends and allies and we take back the Blaine House in November,” Mills says.

The candidates will have to wait to learn which one of them will lead that charge, and waiting for the outcome of this election using ranked-choice voting, Mills says, is like waiting for a jury to come back with a verdict.