City Councilor Courtney Gary-Allen speaks during the taping of a candidates’ night event Oct. 4 at Lithgow Public Library in Augusta. Gary-Allen was reelected to her at-large seat on the council in Tuesday’s election. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — Residents elected Courtney Gary-Allen and Robert Austin to fill at-large and Ward 1 City Council positions Tuesday.

Incumbent Gary-Allen defeated newcomer Chris Voynik in the race for an at-large seat on the council, with 2,897 votes to his 1,523.

“I want to thank the citizens of Augusta for trusting me to continue to serve in this role, it has been an honor of my life,” Gary-Allen said late Tuesday night. “I’m going to continue to do the work and hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to budget season, conversations about Hatch Hill, repairing our roads and affordable housing — there are so many issues we’re working on.”

Gary-Allen, 30, owner of Capital Consulting and organizing director of Maine Recovery Advocacy Project, said she ran due to her love for the city of Augusta. She said the biggest issues facing the city include addressing affordable housing and homelessness, fostering economic growth, ensuring tax stabilization, navigating the Hatch Hill landfill expansion and tending to road conditions in the city.

Voynik, 31, a real estate broker, said he ran because he feels Augusta was no longer “winning” and he wanted to advocate for and create actionable policies and initiatives that address the many issues facing the city.

Gary-Allen said Voynik ran a good race that was cordial and focused on issues.


Election worker Joy McKenna, right, greets Ward 3 voters Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Two newcomers to city politics — Robert Austin and Marcus Emerson — vied to fill the Ward 1 council seat being vacated by veteran councilor Linda Conti.

Austin took the win, with 665 votes to Emerson’s 448.

Austin, 58, a former business owner who now works in health care operations management, said he ran for the council because he has come to care deeply about Augusta and he wants to use his real-world leadership experience, team-building and organizational skills to lead the city through its challenges and opportunities ahead.

Robert Austin speaks during the taping of a candidates’ night event Oct. 4 at Lithgow Public Library in Augusta. Austin was elected Ward 1 City Councilor on Tuesday, defeating Marcus Emerson. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

He sees Augusta’s biggest issues as finalizing and adopting a comprehensive plan, attracting positive business and development partners, planning for a sustainable road repair and maintenance program, increasing housing units to boost affordable housing and fostering better communication with the community.

Emerson, 47, a substitute teacher at Capital Area Technical Center, registered Maine Guide and a retired U.S. Marine Corps chief warrant officer, said he’s lived a life of service since 1998 and, during the campaign, said he would continue to do so if elected to the council.

Voters also elected two new members to the Board of Education, in contested races in Wards 2 and 3, Susan Parks and James Orr.


Parks, with 627 votes, defeated Aaron Kregenow, who received 419 votes, for the Ward 2 seat.

Susan Parks speaks during the taping of a candidates’ night Oct. 4 at Lithgow Public Library in Augusta. Parks defeated Aaron Kregenow Tuesday to win the Ward 2 seat on the Board of Education. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Parks is a longtime educator who has worked as a consultant with the Maine Department of Education. She said she ran for the board to stay involved in education.

Kregenow said, during his campaign, he wanted to make sure students in the district receive the best education they can get by having great teachers who are paid at a competitive wage.

Orr, with 565 votes, defeated Jane Maguire-Tyce, who received 490.

Orr, who did not attend a candidates’ forum for the school board race, has previously run unsuccessfully to represent Augusta in the Maine House of Representatives. He was the only candidate in a contested city race this year who did not participate in the forum.

James Orr, left, and Mike Michaud greet a voter outside the Ward 3 polling place in the Augusta Civic Center in June 2022. Orr, who ran unsuccessfully for the Maine House of Representatives last year, was elected to the Augusta Board of Education on Tuesday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Maguire-Tyce has six children, two of whom are at Cony High School. She said during the campaign she’d been going to board meetings for two years and decided to run when the position opened up. She felt she should be an example to other parents to be involved and active in kids’ lives.

The winner, Orr, will complete the remainder of the three-year Ward 3 school board term, which expires Dec. 31, 2024.

Elected in uncontested races were: Eric Lind, with 1,145 votes, Ward 4 City Council; Martha Witham, chairperson of the school board, with 3,852 votes; and Charles Hicks, at-large school board, with 3,751 votes.

A total of 4,823 Augusta voters cast ballots.

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