WATERVILLE — A recount will take place Friday for the Ward 7 City Council race in which political newcomer Thomas A. McCormick Sr. defeated Councilor Erik Thomas, the current chairman, by eight votes.

“Erik Thomas has requested a recount,” City Clerk Patti Dubois said Wednesday in an email, explaining that it will be done at City Hall.

McCormick, 59, a retired Bath Iron Works pipefitter and machinist, won a three-year term in Tuesday’s election, defeating Thomas 159 to 151. McCormick ran with no party affiliation but describes himself as an “unenrolled independent.”

Thomas, 46, a Democrat and assistant executive director of the Waterville Opera House, served as the Ward 7 councilor for three years and has been council chairman all three. Prior to that, he served three years on the Planning Board and four years as a city councilor representing Ward 4. He said he ran for reelection because he wanted “to continue the work of the last three years, which has moved the South End to the forefront of the conversation in city government.”

Thomas said Wednesday there were 13 votes the ballot machine didn’t count and that is enough to change the results. He was torn, he said, about asking for a recount as he “didn’t want to make a big stink about it,” but with a difference of only eight votes he decided to request it.

Thomas said he will be fine with whatever outcome is decided. If it’s determined that he won he will be happy to serve another term, and if he loses he will do everything he can to help McCormick, he said.


“I take a lot of pride in being a city councilor,” Thomas said. “I feel I did a lot of good over the last three years. I’m content with that.”

If McCormick is ultimately certified as the winner, Thomas will continue in his council role until the first council meeting in January when McCormick would be sworn in and the council would elect a new chairperson.

A former U.S. Marine who served more than seven years as an infantry rifleman and sergeant, McCormick said Wednesday that he was surprised he won the race, but he did knock on doors from Sherwin Street to Trafton Road prior to the election. He also stood outside the polls for 12 hours Tuesday, he said, with the exception of 15 minutes he took to get lunch.

“I was kind of awestruck,” McCormick said of his win. “I greatly appreciate everyone coming out to vote, and I appreciate the people that voted for me and had faith that I’m going to do what they want. It’s not going to be what I want, it’s what they, we want, toward a common goal.”

He said his first concern is Ward 7 and his second concern is the city.

“But at the end of the day, everything is going to be based on what’s best for all of us,” McCormick said. “In Ward 7, a lot of people feel they’ve been left behind. I feel we should explain to people feeling left behind, this is what is going on and it’s happening for the greater good.”


Mayor Jay Coelho said Wednesday that he had already told Thomas that if the recount is not in his favor, that he wants Thomas to serve on every city committee possible.

“He’s been around for a long time; he’s an active member of our community. I would hate to lose some of that,” Coelho said.

The mayor said the city had two great candidates in Thomas and McCormick.

“Tom’s a good guy. His heart’s in the right place,” Coelho said. “He wants to do good. I think he fights a lot for the South End. He’s a member of the South End Neighborhood Association. I’ve had plenty of conversations with Tom over the last few weeks. I’m a SENA member. If Tom wins, he will do a great job.”

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