HALLOWELL — Four city council seats are up for grabs on Election Day Nov. 6, but only one race will be formally contested — and one is lacking a candidate for the ballot.

Incumbent Ward Five Councilor Lisa Harvey-McPherson, who is seeking her fifth term, will be challenged by newcomer Patrick Wynne.

Wynne, a firefighter and paramedic for Augusta Fire and Rescue who moved to Hallowell four years ago, said he has considered running for a while to be more engaged in city politics.

“I think that Hallowell is really working on some long-term projects right now,” he said. “I want the kids I’m raising to have the same opportunities.”

Wynne, a father of three children aged 5 months to 5 years old, said he would like to see service for the Kennebec Explorer bus extended to Granite Hill Estates, a part of Ward Five. He also advocated for more “soft benefits” for municipal workers, like the day off on celebratory days such as Old Hallowell Day.

“They work very hard to make that day happen for our community,” he said.

Wynne said this is his first time running for any office.

Harvey-McPherson has served on the council for eight years, the longest serving current member. She has seen the full implementation of the city’s tax increment financing district and the Water Street reconstruction project.

“I want to see (the Water Street) project to completion,” Harvey-McPherson said. “I think the historical knowledge of (those projects) is important for council.”

She serves on the Personnel and Policy, Finance, and Highway council committees. Harvey-McPherson said her fiscally conservative tendencies helps contribute to a well-balanced council.

“The council is a unique balance of fiscal interests for the people on Hallowell,” she said. “I am the most fiscally conservative member of the council and I think that is enormously helpful.”

The council has a number of important upcoming decisions, Harvey-McPherson said, like the future of the fire station on Second Street, and she hopes be part of that problem-solving process.

Maureen AuCoin, who stepped down as Ward 1 Councilor last month after she moved to Ward 4, will run unopposed as a Councilor-At-Large. Current Councilor-at-Large Lynn Irish said last month she was not running for another term so she could focus her time on her downtown business, Whipper Snappers Fine Fabrics.

AuCoin said Thursday that her responsibilities as a councilor-at-large are no different than being a ward councilor, but has added pressure of representing the entire city.

Incumbent Ward Three Councilor Kara Walker also will run unopposed. She was first inaugurated as a councilor in January 2017, when she defeated longtime councilor Phil Lindley. She said she is looking forward to seeing the end product of the city’s projects over the next year.

“It’s just been a hectic pace in Hallowell,” Walker said. “I’m hopeful things slow down so it’s business usual so I can see what it’s like on that side of the fence.”

She said it was important for her to retain her position to keep the continuity of the current council.

“I feel like the city council really gels,” Walker said. “I really enjoy working with them.”

Kate DuFour, a former councilor who will likely be appointed as AuCoin’s replacement on Sept. 10 at the council’s Sept. 10 meeting at the Vaughn Homestead, did not take out papers for reelection.

And no one returned nomination papers in Ward One. Mayor Mark Walker, a former councilor, said last month that he heard a few names of potential candidates for that position who could run a write-in campaign. In the event of no one being written-in by voters, Mark Walker would have to appoint a councilor.

AuCoin said she hoped DuFour would run a write-in campaign.

“She’s incredibly knowledgable about municipal issues,” Aucoin said.

There is no election for a Hallowell seat on the Regional School Unit 2 board in November. Dawn Gallagher’s position on the board opens next year while Chris Asch’s opens in 2020.

The other three seats on the council are occupied Councilor-at-Large George Lapointe, Ward Two Councilor Michael Frett and Ward Four Councilor Diano Circo.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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