HALLOWELL — City Councilor George Lapointe looks to be the city’s new mayor after a victory by a razor-thin margin in Tuesday’s elections.

George Lapointe

According to unofficial results, Lapointe collected two more votes than his opponent, fellow City Councilor Maureen AuCoin, 860-858. A total of 74 voters left the question blank.

That tiny margin could see AuCoin call for a recount, but AuCoin was not immediately available for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.

City Clerk Diane Polky said AuCoin has five business days to call for a recount.

Lapointe, an environmental consultant and former commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, has served on the City Council since 2013. He is currently serving as the council’s chairperson and is the Finance Committee’s chairperson.

When reached for his reaction, Lapointe said, “Dang, that’s close.”

“I think that it is a reflection of two candidates who are passionate about Hallowell and the city’s future,” he said. “My sense is that we’ve got tons of challenges that the city — mayor, (city) council and citizens — must work on together to the benefit of our great city.”

Lapointe told the Kennebec Journal in September that he was warming to the idea of using a bond to address the city’s backlogged capital expenditures. He said he would look deeper into teaming with other communities to provide certain services, which could reduce costs to the city.

Maureen AuCoin

Lapointe also said he said he would work on the city’s “heart and soul,” the downtown district, including a focus on reducing vacancies. He said surrounding communities, including Augusta and Gardiner, have been able to reduce their vacancies with an economic development position. He said new deputy assistant clerk position could reduce the strain on City Manager Nate Rudy, allowing him to focus more on economic development.

AuCoin, a former interim city manager and code enforcement officer in Hallowell, has been on the City Council since 2016. She also serves on the city’s Finance Committee.

Mayor Mark Walker did not seek reelection, instead opting to run against Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester, for the Maine Senate. That race had still not been called by Wednesday night.

COUNCILORS, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ELECTED IN UNOPPOSED BIDS

Berkeley Almand-Hunter won an unopposed bid for the Ward 4 seat on the City Council with 254 votes.

Ward 2 City Councilor Michael Frett, a retired judge, attorney and the former director of the state Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards, was reelected to his seat with 291 votes. Frett was appointed to the council in 2016, and currently serves on the Claims, Highway and Property/Public Lands council committees.

Chris Myers Asch also won reelection to his seat on the Regional School Unit 2 board of directors with 1,415 votes.

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