WATERVILLE — The Waterville City Republican Committee on Thursday chose former Councilor Karen Rancourt-Thomas as a candidate to run in Ward 7 against Waterville Board of Education member Pamela Trinward, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 election.

Rancourt-Thomas was one of four candidates nominated at the Republican Committee’s caucus, held in the council chamber at The Center downtown.

Rancourt-Thomas said she worked in the School Department as a special education technician and knows what schools need and what teachers and education technicians want. She said she thinks she would be a good asset to the school board.

“I think we have to work a little more closely with the council,” she said.

About a dozen people turned out for the caucus, including two people who identified themselves as Democrats and said they were just there to observe. The caucus sought to choose candidates for City Council, wards 1, 3, 5 and 7, and Waterville Board of Education, wards 1 and 7. There were no candidates for the Ward 3 council seat, recently vacated by Lauren Lessing, a Democrat who resigned to move to Iowa for a new job. There were no candidates for the Ward 1 school board seat now held by Chairman Sara Sylvester, a Democrat who has said she plans to run for re-election.

The Democratic City Committee plans to caucus at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Alfond Youth Center.


Mayor Nick Isgro ran the Republican caucus in which Catherine Weeks, a political newcomer, was chosen to run as a Republican for City Council in Ward 1. That seat now is held by Steve Soule, a Democrat and the council chairman, who has said he will not run for re-election.

Weeks, an Isgro supporter who has been vocal at council meetings about the need to trim the budget, stood to say she has had the privilege of meeting with residents in her neighborhood and they have told her they feel they are not being heard.

“It will be a privilege to sit on the council and represent my neighbors,” she said.

Eric Chamberlain, who was not present for the caucus, was chosen to run as a Republican for City Council in Ward 5. Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, currently holds that seat but said earlier this week he was leaning toward running again but had not made a final decision.

Chamberlain started an effort to repeal the city budget, but it failed for lack of enough petition signatures.

“From my time knowing Eric, he was very much in the mold of Nick Champagne, who used to represent Ward 5,” Isgro said.


Heath Dunn was chosen to run as a candidate for City Council in Ward 7, a seat now held by Jackie Dupont, a Democrat who also has chosen not to seek re-election.

Dunn said he thinks “taxes need to be reined in a bit” and there are ways to do that, including by looking at budgets earlier in the process.

“I’m encouraged by all the growth in Waterville, and I’d loved to be part of it,” he said.

There is now only one Republican among five Democrats on the City Council: Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, who was present for the caucus.

City Clerk Patti Dubois said earlier Thursday that names submitted by the caucus will be placed on the ballot with an “R” for Republican placed next to the names as long as the candidates submit 25 to 50 signatures from residents of their wards by 5 p.m. Sept. 7.

Those wanting to be on the ballot with no party affiliation must get nomination papers from Dubois’ office and return them with the same number of signatures by that same time and date, she said.


The council meeting next week was rescheduled from Tuesday to Monday because South End National Night Out will be held Tuesday.

At the 7 p.m. meeting, to be held in the council chamber, councilors will consider voting to declare a vacancy on the council to fill the vacant seat in Ward 3 previously held by Lessing.

Dubois said the council will decide whether to advertise for the position, solicit applications and appoint someone to fill the spot until November or wait until someone is elected in November.

Voting on Nov. 6 is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Thomas College.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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