WINTHROP — Don Ellis, a young service-industry worker, won a seat on the Winthrop Town Council in a special election Tuesday.
Ellis defeated Elizabeth McKenney, the 49-year-old owner of Central Maine Taxi, by a vote of 118–58. There were also six write-ins, for a total of 182 votes cast.
Ellis, 24, works at McDonald’s on Western Avenue in Augusta and at Circle K in Manchester. He graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration.
He will fill a vacancy on the council left by the resignation of Jennifer Currier for personal reasons in October. The term will end in 2015.
Ellis said he ran for Town Council to gain experience for the career he hopes to build in public administration. He also wants to give back to the community in which he grew up.
Ellis describes himself as a fiscal conservative and said the biggest issues facing Winthrop are the town and school budgets. He cited the difficulty of passing a school budget last year, which took three tries.
With recent proposals by Gov. Paul LePage, including one to suspend state revenue sharing for municipalities, creating budgets that work for the town and taxpayers could be even more difficult in the future, Ellis said.
Ellis credited his win to the visibility and network he has gained through his involvement with his church and as a deputy grand knight in the Knights of Columbus.
“A few people spread the word and supported me very well,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the town for giving me a chance.”
Susan McMillan — 621-5645