WINTHROP — All three candidates in a special election for a Winthrop Town Council seat braved frigid temperature to meet voters Tuesday outside Town Hall — and by the end of the day, each of the three said the others would make fine representatives.

But just one, Anthony “Andy” Wess, will fill the seven-member council’s empty seat, which was vacated by June Bubier in the beginning of October, with about one year remaining on her term.

Wess, who ran Lakeside Motel & Cabins in East Winthrop for 30 years before selling the business and retiring this year, received 170 votes in the special election.

The other two candidates were Faith Benedetti, an artist and public health worker who in recent years has been running her own medical marijuana practice; and David Hughes, a computer programmer who now looks after his children, several of whom have special needs.

Benedetti received 94 votes. Hughes received 46.

One of the residents who voted Tuesday afternoon, Jana Diket, declined to say whom she voted for, but said each of the candidates was qualified.

“I’d be very happy with whoever gets it,” said Diket, a member of the town’s School Board. “From what I’ve read and heard, all three support the schools.”

The Town Council and the School Board have clashed in the last year, and Diket said she was hopeful the newest member of the council would be able to work with the board.

Another voter, Stephen Gove, lives in Winthrop and works as executive director of the Maine Municipal Association.

“I believe in civic duty,” he said, of his reasons for voting.

None of the candidates had served on the Town Council before, but Wess has served on several other municipal committees and run for council twice in the last year.

In interviews this week and previously, Wess, 65, has described himself as a business-minded candidate.

As the co-owner of Lakeside Motel & Cabins, Wess said, he was able to grow the operation “from almost nothing to a really successful business that was giving back to the community, and that experience of growing a business is going to be very helpful to me. It will help me to look more carefully at budgets and spending.”

Wess also described himself as “fiscally responsible” and able to find consensus. While he praised the town’s firefighters, police officers and teachers and said they deserve appropriate resources, he also said that the town is overall “spending too much.”

Outside Town Hall, Wess, Benedetti and Hughes wore hats, gloves and winter coats as they greeted voters, their breath forming steam in the air. The mercury barely climbed to freezing Tuesday, and other than taking a break in the afternoon, all the candidates remained outside.

They also had the opportunity to get to know each other throughout the day and shook hands after the election clerk announced the results Tuesday night.

Because it was a special election, Wess will begin serving this month.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: ceichacker

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.