WATERVILLE — In a City Council election upset, Republican Sydney Mayhew unseated incumbent Erik Thomas, a Democrat, in the race for the Ward 4 seat, 588-504.

In other council races, Ward 6 Councilor Dana Bushee was re-elected and newcomer Nathaniel White won the Ward 2 seeat.

Mayhew, 49, a general manager for McDonald’s restaurants, said late Tuesday that he was surprised and happy about his win.

“It seems so unreal,” Mayhew said. “I’m just very, very excited. I’m very, very thrilled for this opportunity. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m very humbled by the fact that I won. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting to work and rolling up my sleeves for the city of Waterville.”

Thomas, 39, a former City Council chairman and former Planning Board member, owns the businesses, Sweet People Productions and Digital ImageWorks. Thomas was a strong supporter of the city’s pay-as-you-throw trash collection program.

In other council races, Democrat White won the Ward 2 seat in a three-way race with Republican Zachary Bickford and political newcomer Normand Veilleux, who ran with no party affiliation.

White, 28, a member of the city’s Planning Board and current American Heritage Tour director for the Alfond Youth Center, received 402 votes to Bickford’s 189 and Veilleux’s 175.

“I’m very happy that residents of Ward 2 in Waterville chose me as their councilor,” White said late Tuesday. “They can expect great things from me. I’m going to be that person in Ward 2 that listens and speaks for them. This is the start of what I foresee as a great political career for me. I’m going to go further (than the council) some day.”

Bickford, 26, is a Republican and manager of his family’s business, Scotty’s Pizza; Veilleux, 47, is a behavioral health professional coordinator and transportation director for Central Maine Learning Center.

White will fill a seat to be vacated by Edward Lachowicz, who did not seek re-election.

Veilleux was at the polls as the votes were counted Tuesday. He said he wished the best of luck to everyone who was elected as they work to remedy the current situations the city faces. Bickford said he thought he did well, coming in second for the Ward 2 seat.

“I probably will run again in the next election, depending,” he said.

Bickford also said he is interested in seeking appointment to the Planning Board seat White will vacate when he becomes a councilor, and may seek appointment to other committees.

Incumbent Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, beat challenger and political newcomer Jibryne E. Karter III, 471-267. Bushee also was at the polls when results were tallied.

“I’m really thankful to the voters for trusting in me and I’m proud I ran a positive campaign,” Bushee said.

Bushee, 39, is communications and outreach manager for Hardy Girls Healthy Women and was appointed to the council in December to fill the unexpired term of Eliza Mathias, who moved out of the ward. Bushee is also a former Planning Board member.

Karter, 30, is chief executive officer of Mid Maine Electronics LLC and Mid Maine Web. He is unenrolled.

Voter turnout was steady Tuesday at the American Legion Hall on College Avenue where by 5:05 p.m., 4,650 people had voted, including more than 1,650 who did so by absentee ballot, according to Ward 6 warden, Roland Hallee.

Hallee, who has been a warden for 28 years, stood in the middle of a busy election hall where people stood in seven lines to receive ballots and all of the 50 voting booths were occupied.

“They’ve been like that all day,” Hallee, a former city councilor, said. “The lines have been like this all day. I don’t see anything slowing down any time soon.”

Meanwhile, voters handily approved revisions to the city charter, 3,184-1,416. Enough ballots were cast for the charter amendments to take effect. Voters last year approved the revisions by a wide margin, but not enough people voted in the election to satisfy a minimum turnout requirement in state law.

The state requires that charter revisions be approved by 30 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In 2013, only 1,403 people cast ballots in the election and 1,634 were needed. In the last gubernatorial election in 2010, 5,446 people voted.

The charter revisions voters approved Tuesday changes the way city councilors appoint people to the council; allows the city clerk to pick wardens and ward clerks, which have been elected positions; authorize councilors to decide whether a councilor who misses three consecutive council meetings should be removed from the council; and allows the council to create a committee to develop a code of ethics for the city, among other things.

In other elections Tuesday, incumbents Maryanne Bernier and Elizabeth Bickford, both Democrats, were returned to their Board of Education seats in wards 4 and 6, respectively, after having run unopposed. Newcomer Susan Reisert, a Democrat, was elected to the Ward 2 seat on that board. She also ran unopposed.

Democrats Patricia Gorman and Joan Sanzenbacher were elected to two seats on the Kennebec Water District Board of Trustees.

In uncontested races, Democrat Nancy Emery was elected ward clerk in Ward 1; Democrat Richard Ratajczak-Leaman Jr. was elected warden and Democrat Shirleyann Ratajczak was elected ward clerk, both in Ward 2; Republican Carol Blier was elected warden in Ward 4; Republican Herbert Oliver was elected warden in Ward 5; and Democrat Roland Hallee was elected warden and Democrat Heather Merrow was elected ward clerk, both in Ward 6.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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