Waterville Republicans may not field Republican candidates for all three City Council seats up for election in November, the city GOP chairman said.

City Republicans plan to caucus at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Council chambers on the top floor of City Hall to select nominees from the floor for mayor, the City Council and the Board of Education, along with other positions such as ward clerks and water district trustees.

Waterville Chairman Neal Patterson said he has heard of only one person showing interest in running as a Republican to succeed outgoing Mayor Karen Heck, and one other person indicating an intent to run for other city offices as a Republican.

While not everyone is interested in running for elected office and able to do so, Patterson said, he encourages members to attend the caucus to vote on their nominees.

“I think the reason people should want to participate is it empowers them. It gives the average voter another opportunity to express their preference,” he said.

Patterson said it can be challenging to get in touch with other party members, so there may be interested attendees at the caucus who have not yet voiced an interest to him in the seats.

The GOP historically has not had a strong presence in Waterville.

Heck was elected as an unenrolled candidate. She is not seeking a second term.

Residents not currently registered to vote as Republicans can add the party designation if they can arrive at 5 p.m. to meet with the clerk, Patterson said.

Along with the race for mayor, seats up for election include:

• Ward 1: ward clerk

• Ward 2: City Council, Board of Education, warden and ward clerk

• Ward 3: warden and ward clerk positions

• Ward 4: City Council, Board of Education, warden and ward clerk

• Ward 5: warden and ward clerk

• Ward 6: City Council, Board of Education, warden and ward clerk

• Ward 7: warden and ward clerk

Also, two citywide seats on the Kennebec Water District Board of Trustees are available.

Patterson said the level of turnout varies from election to election, with more civic participation in presidential election years.

“I think the largest one we held locally might have had 40 people there,” he said. “We’ll take a vote from whoever is there. Even if it’s two or three people that elect someone, it’s still a majority.”

He said if no representatives attend from certain wards, then Republicans would be unable to appoint nominees from those wards.

“If we didn’t have any from a specific ward, we couldn’t get the ball rolling,” he said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.