ELLSWORTH, Maine — Carletta “Dee” Bassano, the elected district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties, has confirmed that she has decided not to run for the office she has held for the past four years.

One of Bassano’s deputies, Paul Cavanaugh of Calais, announced two weeks ago that he was running to replace his boss. In the announcement, he said that Bassano did not intend to run again. She confirmed that decision on Thursday.

Bassano declined to comment on her reasons for not running, other than to say that they were personal.

A Democrat, Bassano was first elected to the post in 2010 after having served as a top deputy prosecutor under former District Attorney Michael Povich, who held the office for 35 years. Povich, a Republican, endorsed Bassano’s candidacy in 2010, saying that his personal loyalty to her trumped his party affiliation and that, aside from elections, the practical function of the office is nonpartisan.

Bassano said Thursday that she will not endorse any candidate because two of her deputies are running and she does not want to choose between them. Besides Cavanaugh, a Republican, Assistant District Attorney Bill Entwisle of Sedgwick also has announced he is throwing his hat in the ring, as a Democrat.

Ellsworth attorney Matthew Foster, who ran against Bassano in 2010, said Friday that he has submitted papers to run against Cavanaugh in the Republican primary.

It was not clear Friday if there might be other people who also intend to run for the post. Candidates for county or state office who want to run in party primaries have to file papers with the Secretary of State’s Office by Monday, March 17.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....