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Democratic primary for Midcoast seat in the Maine Senate decided by 25 votes after recount

A voter marks a ballot at the polling station in Kennebunk, Maine, Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
Michael Dwyer
A voter marks a ballot at the polling station in Kennebunk, Maine, Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

A former state lawmaker from Topsham won the Democratic nomination for a Maine Senate seat following a recount on Thursday.

Initial vote tallies from the June 11 primary showed Denise Tepler defeating Jean Guzzetti of Bath by less than 1% in the Senate District 24 race. Guzzetti asked for a hand recount because of the close margin. But in the end, Tepler beat her by 25 votes out of more than 3,600 ballots cast.

"Congratulations to both candidates," Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said at the conclusion of a live Facebook feed of the roughly 3-hour-long process. "Denise Tepler goes on to November. Congratulations as well to Jean Guzzetti for a very close race and a very excellent proceeding today."

Tepler previously served four terms in the Maine House. She will now face another former House member, Republican Jeffrey Pierce of Dresden, for the Senate district seat representing all of Sagadahoc County plus the town of Dresden.

On Friday, Guzzetti endorsed her primary opponent for the November election.

"I’m grateful to the volunteers from our campaigns and staff with the Secretary of State’s office for their hard work and diligence in conducting the recount," Guzzetti said in a Facebook post. "The process and the results are truly a testament to the strength of our election process and our democracy."