WATERVILLE — Residents in Waterville wards 1 and 7 ousted incumbent city councilors Tuesday night. Political newcomer Stephen Soule defeated Chairman Fred Stubbert for his Ward 1 seat, winning 170 votes to Stubbert’s 72. In the race for the Ward 7 seat, incumbent Karen Rancourt-Thomas lost by 18 votes to Jacqueline Dupont in a three-way race..

Soule, 58, was the only candidate at the polls at the American Legion hall when his victory was announced shortly after 8 p.m. Soule, who has lived in Ward 1 for the last 35 years, has never run for political office, but spent his career as a teacher and principal. He now is the coordinator of the South End Teen Center.

“I always taught my students to do things and take action. It’ll be good for the students to see me win this,” Soule said.

Soule said he hopes to advance an agenda as councilman that would make Waterville more business-friendly and operate under a more realistic budget.

Stubbert, 78, has been on the City Council for 12 years, serving as chairman for his last two terms. Stubbert largely ran his campaign on the experience he had serving Waterville. On Tuesday night, Stubbert said he wasn’t sure what was next for him.

“That’s the way it goes,” Stubbert said in a telephone interview.

“Waterville really does need (experience),” he added. “I was at the polls most of the day, and a lot of the people who came through said the same thing to me.”

Soule believes that his dedication to reaching every voter in the ward is what secured his victory.

Soule went door-to-door in the ward in the northern tip of the city during his campaign, and he sent postcards and brochures to every resident the ward to let the public know he was committed to winning.

“I tried to make myself available to as many people as I could,” Soule said.

In Ward 7, Jacqueline Dupont defeated incumbent Karen Rancourt-Thomas, 41, by 18 votes. Dupont received 110 votes to secure her win, over Rancourt-Thomas’ 92. Anthony Tompkins, who also ran for the seat, received 22 votes.

Dupont, 33, attributed her victory to her dedication in reaching every voter in the South End ward, similar to how Soule won in Ward 1.

“What I think largely made the difference was going door-to-door and talking to people and doing what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years (as a community organizer) — listening to people and making sure they feel heard and represented,” Dupont said.

Dupont is a member of the Planning Board and was elected warden of Ward 7 in 2013. Dupont hopes to use her spot on the City Council to help rebrand Waterville as a place where businesses can thrive.

“Waterville is not being talked about in terms of its assets and its strengths. But it is really at a tipping point for accelerated growth,” Dupont said.

Rancourt-Thomas, who has served seven years as a city councilor for Ward 7, said she congratulates Dupont on her win.

“It is what it is,” Rancourt-Thomas said by telephone Tuesday night.

Running unopposed for the Ward 1 Board of Education seat, Chairwoman Sara Sylvester won another term. For the Ward 7 Board of Education seat, Pamela J. Trinward also ran unopposed, securing another three-year term.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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.