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Democratic race for governor will head to ranked-choice voting

Right now, Janet Mills is leading Adam Cote by a few thousand votes, but neither has 50 percent of the vote. (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Election Day is over, but we're still waiting for results in several races, including who will be the Democratic candidate for governor.

Right now, Janet Mills is leading Adam Cote by a few thousand votes, but neither has 50 percent of the vote.

That means this will be one of the first statewide races in Maine, or any other state, decided by a ranked-choice vote.

"I think I'm OK with whatever the result is,” Mills said. “I really am."

Janet Mills has a tight lead in the Democratic primary in the governor's race.

"We knew this was going to be a very, very close race,” Cote said. “It's proven to be a very close race."

Adam Cote and Janet Mills must now wait for the ranked-choice ballots to be tallied.

General Courier will transport the sealed and locked ballot boxes to Augusta Thursday and Friday.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the results won't likely be in until Monday at the earliest.

"It's like waiting for a jury to come back after a long trial,” Mills said. “It really is. It's a little anxiety. But you got to be patient. Wait for the right result."

Janet Mills says she's cautiously optimistic she'll win the Democratic nomination.

"We think we're going to be neck and neck, which is exactly what's happened,” Cote said. “So we feel good about it."

In a statement Wednesday, Cote says, "We are confident that when the votes are all counted, we will be the Democratic nominee and cannot wait to take on Shawn Moody..."

Mills says she also likes her chances in the general election against Shawn Moody.

"Even though Mr. Moody won handily, his primary, the number of votes he got was not that much higher than the number of votes I got," Mills said.

Barring a recount, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates have all said they won't challenge the ranked-choice outcome, and they will stand behind whoever their nominee is.

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