WATERVILLE — Karen Heck was elected mayor Tuesday night, ousting Democratic Mayor Dana Sennett with 54 percent of the vote.

Heck, 59, who is unenrolled, got 2,021 votes to Sennett’s 1,344 and Republican Andrew Roy’s 360.

A senior program officer for the Bingham Program and a founder of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Heck becomes the city’s 52nd mayor.

She said she was ecstatic with Tuesday’s win.

“I’m totally thrilled and I’m appreciative and I’m humbled by all of the support I received,” Heck said late Tuesday. “I had a fabulous time with this campaign because it was run by young people whose energy can absolutely reinvigorate Waterville. They have the creativity, the innovative ideas, the energy and the ability to put Waterville on the map.”

Sennett, 59, was elected in June. He was a city councilor 15 years before that, six years as chairman.

Sennett said he was disappointed with Tuesday’s outcome.

“I feel bad that I wasn’t elected, but I wish Karen Heck the best of luck in the transition period,” he said.

Roy, 37, owner of Andy’s DJ Service and chairman of the Waterville Republican City Committee, said he wanted to thank everyone who supported him in his campaign.

“I will continue to work on the things I told them I was going to work on and I will take this as a success and build from here,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Paul LePage, who was Waterville mayor before being inaugurated governor in January, offered some words of wisdom to whomever was elected Tuesday night.

“My advice would be to listen to people and not be afraid to make tough decisions because when you do what’s right for the community, you’re going to offend somebody,” LePage said. “But don’t let it worry you because everyone wants what’s right for the city.”

Sennett, an advertising account executive for the Morning Sentinel, remains mayor to the end of the year.

The three candidates spent much of the day Tuesday shaking hands at the polls at the American Legion Hall on College Avenue.

Heck then moved to a campaign celebration at 18 Below Raw Bar, a restaurant at 18 Silver St.
Sennett and Roy stayed at the polls to await vote tallies and the announcement of Tuesday’s winner.

Heck campaigned as a fresh voice in city government, vowing to bring energy and passion to the job, and be an ambassador for the city in her travels around the state.

She touted as experience her nine years working as former deputy director of Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, supervising human resources and finance directors in a  $13 million operation with 200 employees. She administered 35 KVCAP programs using a variety of state and federal funding sources. She also has 40 years of connections in state government, business and philanthropy, she said.

Heck maintains that her strengths are in bringing people together to generate innovative solutions to problems, her ability to bridge the gap between the most conservative and most liberal leaders of the community and her passion for engaging the community in creating a prosperous, vibrant city.

Sennett, a Waterville native and Waterville High School graduate, campaigned on his experience in city government, and said he understands city departments, what employees do and how that affects taxpayers.

Waterville mayors are inducted into office the first Tuesday in January. An inauguration is not required by city charted and is the decision of a newly elected mayor.

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