Rep. Mike Perkins, R-Oakland, (left) presents a Spirit of America award to Dana Wrigley of Oakland in this 2017 photo. Credit: Courtesy of Town of Oakland

AUGUSTA, Maine — Rep. Mike Perkins won the Republican nomination in a Maine Senate district in the Waterville area after a Thursday ranked-choice voting count.

Perkins narrowly prevailed in a three-way race, winning 52.2 percent of votes to 47.8 percent for Kevin Kitchin of Fairfield after the ranked-choice count overseen by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ office. Former legislative candidate Mark Andre of Oakland, who finished third in the first round of voting and was eliminated for the reallocation.

Of the 335 voters who ranked Andre first, only 188 ranked second choices. Perkins won 76 of them, while Kitchin won 112. That tightened the race relative to the first round of voting, but it was still enough to push Perkins over the 50 percent mark to win the election.

Perkins, who joined the Senate race after leaving the 2nd Congressional District primary in December, will face former Waterville and Winslow Fire Chief Dave LaFountain in the November election. LaFountain is a top recruit for Democrats trying to win the district they have not held since term-limited Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Albion, defeated an incumbent in 2014.

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...