WATERVILLE — Voters in four city wards on Tuesday elected new city councilors and re-elected two members of the Waterville Board of Education, one of whom was an incumbent who ran unopposed.

In unofficial results released at 10:06 p.m. by City Clerk Patti Dubois, Democrat Michael J. Morris defeated Republican Catherine M. Weeks by only four votes — 346-342 — for the City Council seat in Ward 1.

Morris, 45, a business support analyst, lives on Broadway Street and is a former member of the China Planning Board. Weeks, 58, of Mt. Pleasant Street, is a clinical documentation auditor. Morris was elected to a three-year term.

Morris said late Tuesday that it had been a great day and a great first experience to get out there, meet a lot of people and hear their stories.

“What a squeaker,” he said of the results. “It was a great race. I feel very happy with the results. Four votes is four votes, and I will certainly accept it tonight, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Also in Ward 1, incumbent Sara J. Sylvester, a Democrat, was re-elected to the Waterville Board of Education with 577 votes for a three-year term. Sylvester, 66, the chairwoman of the school board and executive director of Oak Grove Center, ran unopposed. She has been a member of the board since 2004 and chairwoman since 2015.

Election Warden Roland Hallee said at the polls late Tuesday at the Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College that voter turnout was extremely heavy.

“In my 33 years working the polls, I’ve never seen such a heavy turnout for midterm elections, that I can remember,” he said.

In Ward 3, Democrat Margaret K. Smith defeated Robert Neal Patterson, who ran as an unenrolled candidate for the City Council seat, by a 628-240 vote. Smith, 35, of Morrill Avenue, is a stay-at-home parent and former literacy teacher for Waterville schools. Patterson, 65, of Mayflower Hill Drive, is a systems analyst for Colby College. The council term is for one year.

Smith said Monday that she looks forward to serving on the council and representing residents of her ward.

“I’m deeply grateful for the trust Ward 3 voters have in my ability to step in and fill this vacated seat,” Smith said. “What a privilege it is to serve on their behalf. I look forward to getting to work quickly and will depend heavily on sitting councilors for their wisdom and guidance as I learn.”

In Ward 5, Democrat J.S. “Jay” Coelho defeated Republican Eric D. Chamberlain for a one-year term on the City Council in a 500-429 vote. Coelho, 41, of Louise Avenue, owns a computer and cellphone repair business, as well as rental properties. Chamberlain, 26, of Sawyer Street, is an account expert for T-Mobile, as well as a call firefighter for Fairfield Fire Department.

Coelho said late Tuesday that he is pleased to have been elected. Though they were opponents in the race, he and Chamberlain ran positive campaigns and tried to find common ground, he said.

“I look at a city that is completely divided and would hope that a city could be more like my opponent and I,” Coelho said. “The city needs to do that.”

He pointed to the close race for the Ward 1 council seat and noted that the three-way race for the Ward 7 seat would have been closer, had there been only two candidates.

“It just shows that we have a lot of work to do as a city to be more civil,” he said.

In Ward 7, Democrat Erik Thomas defeated Republican Heath A. Dunn and Zachary Aaron Dickey, who ran as an unenrolled candidate, for a three-year term on the council.

Thomas received 316 votes to Dunn’s 208 and Dickey’s 91.

“I’m really happy,” Thomas said late Tuesday. “I like to be involved and I think it’s going to be important to have somebody with experience coming on with new councilors coming in.”

Thomas said he knows both Dunn and Dickey, both of whom he called nice people and said the city would have been lucky to have either of them in the Ward 7 seat.

“It is sort of a nice feeling running, knowing that you were comfortable with the others,” Thomas said.

Thomas, 43, of Silver Street, is a self-employed printmaker, as well as a programmer for the Waterville Opera House and a former city councilor. Dunn, 37, of King Street, is a project manager-estimator for Bellefleur Masonry. Dickey, 30, of West River Road, is associate pastor of Centerpoint Community Church. Anthony George Tompkins dropped out of the race but was listed on the ballot and received 32 votes.

In Ward 7, incumbent Pamela Trinward, a Democrat, defeated Republican Karen Rancourt-Thomas for a three-year term on the Waterville Board of Education, in a 356-290 vote. Trinward, 64, of Silver Street, is a field representative for U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.

“I’m very happy,” Trinward said late Tuesday of her win. “I’m thrilled for Chellie and the Democrats and the school board. We’ll be busier than ever.”

Rancourt-Thomas, 54, of Carey Lane, is a former councilor and works as deputy town clerk for the town of Benton.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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