WINSLOW — In a close race for the town’s District 2 council seat, Winslow residents re-elected Ben Twitchell.

Twitchell received 370 votes, and his opponent, Earl Watts, received 300. The Town Council candidate for District 4, incumbent Raymond Caron, ran unopposed and will keep his seat for another two years.

“I’m really happy about the council seat,” Twitchell said. “I’ve been there six years, I know my way around and I’m looking forward to another term.”

Twitchell, who also ran for a position in the Maine House of Representatives, lost that race to incumbent Catherine Nadeau in a 1,715-2,146 vote. The district — number 78 — includes Winslow and parts of Benton. He also faced Nadeau for this seat in 2016.

“I did not go belly up when the votes came in last night,” Twitchell said. “I gave it all I had. I got my council job back, and I’m very happy about that.” He added that he does not have plans to run for the District 78 House seat again.

Twitchell, 73, is a retired telephone manager for NYNEX. Watts, 50, is now an educator at Waterville Alternative High School and Thomas College. Watts was newly eligible for public office after retiring from the National Guard in 2017. The Hatch Act prevents active military personnel from participating in political activity.

The two Winslow Town Council candidates’ stances diverged most on the recent school bond issue, with Twitchell having opposed the original $10.3 million bond and Watts favoring it. Both supported the second $8.1 million proposal that voters ultimately passed in June.

Voters who showed up on Tuesday to cast their ballots largely voiced satisfaction with the council and municipal operations.

“Everything seems to be working well,” Winslow resident Matthew Parks said, nodding to his support of neighbor Twitchell.

Jon Duplessie voiced a similar opinion, noting that he was “pleased with what the town is doing.”

Other voters noted that while they felt that the town has been generally well-run, they hope new members of the council can address problems with road maintenance.

“The roads really need fixing,” said Winslow resident Merle Tozier. “And sidewalks — that’s the No. 1 problem. We need sidewalks. I walk constantly and there’s no sidewalks to walk on, so you have to walk on the side of the road, and it’s not very good.”

This year’s council race comes on the heels of one of Winslow’s most hotly contested elections. Last November, a re-count found Lee Trahan and Jerry Quirion tied for the District 3 seat, with a 173-173 vote. Quirion filed a lawsuit arguing that the tie-breaking ballot was filled out improperly and could not be counted because the voter’s intent was unclear. The case eventually went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled in favor of Quirion. This marked the first time Maine’s high court decided the outcome of a municipal election.

In the only other municipal ballot item for Winslow this year, Judith Ellis and Betty Perry were elected library trustees. They will each serve a three-year term.

Polling took place on Tuesday at the Winslow VFW.

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]


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