(CNN) – Independent candidate Eliot Cutler conceded the Maine governor's race to Republican Paul LePage on Wednesday after results showed the two separated by less than 8,500 votes.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, LePage, currently the mayor of Waterville, garnered 38 percent of the vote to Cutler's 37 percent. Democrat Libby Mitchell was a distant third with 19 percent.
Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, is term-limited. Although Maine has trended Democratic in recent years, the governorship has steadily changed hands between Republicans, Democrats and independents for the past 50 years. In the century before that, Republicans dominated the office.