WATERVILLE — Nicholas Isgro, a 33-year-old bank controller, will become the city’s 53rd mayor after winning the seat in a three-way race in Tuesday’s election.

A Republican, Isgro was elected with 2,470 votes to Democrat Stephen Aucoin’s 2,047 and City Councilor Karen Rancourt-Thomas’ 955 votes. Rancourt-Thomas, a Democrat who represents Ward 7, ran with no party affiliation.

“I just want to thank everyone who was willing to come out and support me in this and see the greater vision that our campaign had for Waterville,” Isgro said late Tuesday.

Isgro arrived at the polls shortly before results were handed out. Learning that he had won, he took a moment to collect his thoughts.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to work,” he said. “I think the first thing to do is get a grip on where our budget is going to be headed in the next year because I think we’re going to have some big challenges. And the other thing is to really start working with the council on hammering out how we can open ourselves to rebuilding our business base.”

Isgro planned to head home to get some sleep before getting up before dawn Wednesday to take his wife, Amanda, 35, to Inland hospital where she was scheduled to have a Caesarean section at 5:30 a.m.

“It’s a boy,” Isgro said. “No name yet.”

The couple have three other children: Anthony, 9, Sofia, 6, and Salvatore, 1.

Isgro will replace Mayor Karen Heck, who chose not to seek re-election after a single three-year term. Heck, who is unenrolled in any political party, recently endorsed Isgro for mayor after earlier saying she planned not to endorse a candidate. She said all the other candidates she planned to vote for in Tuesday’s election were Democrats because she believes in the approach of Democrats, but Isgro is the best choice for mayor.

Isgro will be a Republican mayor in a city of 4,588 registered Democrats, 1,960 Republicans, 371 Green Party members and 4,263 unenrolled voters.

Employed as a controller at Skowhegan Savings Bank, Isgro lives on Western Avenue in a home his grandfather built and is treasurer of the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers. He graduated from Messalonskee High School in Oakland in 2000, attended University of Maine at Farmington, where he studied history, and now attends Thomas College seeking a degree in accounting. He will take office in January when Heck’s term ends.

Aucoin, 68, a former city councilor and current maintenance director at Alfond Youth Center, was unavailable for comment late Tuesday.

Rancourt-Thomas, 50, a teacher’s aide at Waterville Junior High School, was upbeat after her loss Tuesday.

“I like Nick (Isgro) a lot, and I really think he’s a really good candidate,” Rancourt-Thomas said. “I think he will be a good mayor, and I look forward to working with him as a councilor. I still keep my council seat, so it’s a win-win situation for me.”

Heck was at the polls when the results came in late Tuesday and was pleased Isgro won.

“I’m happy for all of us in Waterville,” she said. “I think that we have a person who will listen, learn and do what we need to continue moving the city forward.”

Before announcing that he planned to run for mayor, Isgro was a vocal opponent at council meetings of the city’s controversial pay-as-you-throw trash collection system, which requires residents to buy purple trash bags for $2 each. Both he and Rancourt-Thomas said the people they have spoken to approve of the recycling aspect of the program but do not like being forced to buy special trash bags. Rancourt-Thomas had voted against a proposed $37.2 million municipal and school budget that included pay-as-you-throw. Aucoin said the program works for him and should be given a chance.

Isgro has said city officials and residents must come together to discuss alternatives to the pay-per-bag system before a referendum in June, at which voters will have a chance to repeal the program.

As mayor, Isgro runs council meetings, issues an annual budget message, and has the power to veto councilors’ decisions and break a tie. Otherwise, he serves mostly as a figurehead, serving as the city’s ambassador and issuing opinions that may influence councilors’ votes.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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