From left: Will Guerrette, Craig Hickman Credit: Contributed

A high-dollar Maine Senate race in the Augusta suburbs comes to a close on Tuesday with two former state representatives vying to represent a district recently vacated by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.

Democrat Craig Hickman, a Winthrop farmer, is facing Republican businessman Will Guerrette of Pittston in a special election for Maine Senate District 14, which was won by President Donald Trump in 2016 and by President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in 2020.

The contest has been a straightforward one that drew more than $200,000 in spending by outside groups. Hickman, who served four House terms through last year, touted his work on agricultural policy including a first-in-the-nation food sovereignty law. Guerrette, who was in the House from 1994 to 1996, assailed Gov. Janet Mills’ “heavy-handed” coronavirus restrictions.

Bellows, a Democrat, refused to take the oath of office after being nominated by her party to serve as secretary of state in December after winning a third Senate term. A Republican pickup would be only a small dent to Democrats’ 21-13 Senate majority, but it would give the minority party something to build on going into 2022 as it remains out of power in state politics.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...