This post has been updated since originally being posted to reflect that a Democrat also has announced his candidacy for District Attorney of Hancock and Washington counties.
It looks like Hancock and Washington counties are going to have a new district attorney next year.
Paul Cavanaugh, first assistant district attorney, released an announcement Friday (Jan. 17) indicating that he plans to run as a Republican candidate for the seat now held by his boss, Carletta “Dee” Bassano. In the announcement, Cavanaugh writes that Bassano does not intend to seek re-election.
I’ve heard rumors that this might be the case and so made several attempts this week to contact Bassano to confirm that she is not going to run again. She did call me back but we never spoke directly, so I’ve been unable to confirm her plans or to ask why (if it’s true) she has decided against it.
Bassano, a Democrat, was first elected in 2010 after having served as a deputy prosecutor under longtime DA Michael Povich, who held the post for 35 years. Like Bassano, Cavanaugh worked as an assistant prosecutor under Povich for many years before Povich opted not to run again four years ago.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, Assistant District Attorney Bill Entwisle released a prepared statement announcing that he is running for the position as a Democrat.
The two prosecutors may have other opponents in the race. I’ve heard that Ellsworth attorney Matt Foster, a Republican who ran against Bassano four years ago, is leaning toward running again. Former ADA Steve Juskewitch, a Republican-turned-independent who ran in 2002, 2006 and 2010, also could decide throw his hat in the ring but I’ve not heard any indication of what his plans might be.
2014 is shaping up to be a big turnover year for Hancock County government. Sheriff Bill Clark, who has held his post since 1980, has said he is not running again. According to the weekly Ellsworth American newspaper, Probate Judge James Patterson also has decided against seeking re-election to the position he has held for many years, without opposition.
Three other elected county officials have terms ending this year – Commissioner Percy “Joe” Brown, Treasurer Janice Eldridge and Register of Deeds Julie Curtis. Brown has released a statement indicating he plans to run again.