BATH—Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic defeated former state senator Paula Benoit in the special election for Senate District 19, which includes Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden in Lincoln County.

 Preliminary results show Vitelli is leading with 4,621 votes to Benoit’s 4,335 votes with all towns reporting.

 “I am humbled and thrilled by tonight’s win. I am thankful to the folks in our community who took the time to turn out and vote and to the dedicated team of volunteers who tirelessly worked to get our message out,” said Eloise Vitelli. “I look forward to beginning my service in the State Senate, where I will be committed to helping workers and businesses by creating a level playing field for all Maine people to have good jobs and succeed.”

 Vitelli added, “I heard from people across the district that they want someone who will stand up for their interests and work collaboratively to strengthen our state. I look forward to serving the people in our community.”

 Vitelli is Director of Program and Policy at Women, Work and Community where she has spent her career assisting small businesses. There, she created a statewide job training program that has assisted more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and helped unemployed Mainers start successful businesses. Vitelli currently serves on the Maine Economic Growth Council.

 “As a state, we have so many great opportunities and we must do more to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs, our downtowns, and our local farmers and food producers,” said Vitelli. “As a former Head Start teacher and workforce advocate, I know that economic development begins with a strong education.”

 During the five-week campaign, Vitelli earned endorsements and support from the Maine Education Association, the Maine State Employees Union—MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, the Maine AFL-CIO, Bath Iron Works’ largest union—IAMAW Local 6, and International Association of Machinists—Maine Lobstermen, Local 207.

 Since 2008, the seat was held by Democrat Seth Goodall of Richmond. Goodall, who served as the Senate Majority Leader, vacated his seat for an appointment by President Obama to head up the New England region of the Small Business Administration.

 The Maine Senate includes 19 Democrats, 15 Republicans and one unenrolled.

 Vitelli has received numerous awards recognizing her work, including the Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2006, the Women’s Business Advocate of the Year (1997) and in 1995 she was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. She formerly served as Board President of the MidCoast Economic Development District, Community Development Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Maine Human Resources Development Council (predecessor to the State Workforce Investment Board), and the Arrowsic School and RSU #1 Transition Committee.

 Vitelli lives in Arrowsic with her husband, Bob Kalish. She has two grown sons, both of whom attended Bath schools.

 RESULT TOTALS:

 Arrowsic: Vitelli = 69.57%; Benoit = 28.02%

Bath: Vitelli =51.83 %; Benoit = 45.13%

Bowdoin: Vitelli = 41.20%; Benoit = 55.13%

Bowdoinham: Vitelli = 53.90%; Benoit = 42.27%

Dresden: Vitelli = 52.85%; Benoit = 43.42%

Georgetown: Vitelli = 57.07%; Benoit = 39.39%

Phippsburg: Vitelli = 43.99%; Benoit = 54.47%

Richmond: Vitelli = 47.89%; Benoit = 43.68%

Topsham: Vitelli = 49.28%; Benoit = 45.79%

West Bath: Vitelli = 45.08%; Benoit = 51.31%

Woowich: Vitelli = 45.19%; Benoit = 52.25%

 TOTAL: Vitelli = 49.62%; Benoit = 46.55%

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