Heather Fitts holds her 20-month-old son, Aizen, after voting Tuesday with the boy’s father, Cedric Fitts, at Thomas College in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

DeBrito retains City Council seat in Waterville

WATERVILLE — City Councilor Flavia M. DeBrito defeated newcomer Brian Keith Tibbetts to retain her Ward 2 council seat by 117 votes in Tuesday’s election. DeBrito garnered 272 votes to Tibbetts’ 155, according to official results.

DeBrito, a Democrat, is a community organizer for Maine Equal Justice and holds a degree in political science from Thomas College, where she is pursing a master’s degree in education. She has held the Ward 2 seat since 2019.

Tibbetts, 56, is a registered Republican who ran with no party affiliation and works for the Maine Department of Transportation.

DeBrito, 40, serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation and Housing committees and is a member of the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program board of directors, the Maine Children’s Alliance and Educare’s Parent Ambassador Program, of which she is a founder.

She said recently she was running for reelection because she wants to continue as a voice for those from low-income backgrounds. She cited a leading issue in the city as the need for all types of dwellings, including transitional housing for teenagers and affordable and workforce housing. DeBrito said she also wants to see better roads and sidewalks.


Incumbent City Councilor Rebecca Green, a Democrat and council chairwoman, faced no challenger and was reelected to her seat.

Several candidates who ran unopposed were elected, including  Democrat R. Arthur Finch, Ward 6, City Council; Democrat Mary Louise Pletcher, Ward 2, Waterville Board of Education; Democrat Joseph Roger Schmalzel, Ward 6, School Board; incumbent Democrat Maryanne Bernier, Ward 4, School Board; and Sarah Whateley, an incumbent Kennebec Water District trustee.

Nutting reelected to Oakland Town Council; Stubbert upset by challenger

OAKLAND — Incumbent Town Councilor Robert Nutting retained his seat Tuesday, defeating challengers Kelly Roderick and Kevin Quirion for a three-year term. Results showed Nutting garnered 988 votes to Roderick’s 755 and Quirion’s 108.

In an upset, longtime Regional School Unit 18 board of directors member Charles Stubbert III, a Republican, lost his seat to Chelsey Oliver, also a Republican. Oliver received 968 votes to Stubbert’s 664.

Nutting, 76, has served on the council for 17 years, beginning in 1977 and serving until 1988, and then becoming a councilor again in 2018. He is a Republican state representative for District 66, which includes Oakland, Mercer, Smithfield, Starks and part of Sidney.


Roderick, 59, a Democrat, has been active in town affairs for years and serves on the budget and advisory committee, as well as other committees. She is a security officer at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville.

Quirion, 54, a political newcomer who ran for council as an unenrolled candidate, is a retired boat mechanic and military veteran.

Stubbert, 53, is deputy chief of the Oakland Police Department, where he has worked for 23 years and has been a member of the RSU 18 board for nine years.

Oliver is a former math teacher who works for Golden Pond Wealth Management as a relationship manager.

Incumbent Budget and Advisory Committee members Donna Doucette and Donna Griffin were returned to their seats. Susan Lehigh was also elected to the committee.

Bickford wins seat on Fairfield Town Council


FAIRFIELD — Duane Bickford, the former fire chief in Fairfield and Benton, won a seat Tuesday on the Fairfield Town Council in a three-way race.

Bickford received 532 votes, while incumbent Lawrence MacDonald got 397 and a third candidate, Matthew Tulley, tallied 471.

Bickford, who served as the fire chief for 23 years, said that as a councilor, he hopes to reduce the impact of PFAS contamination on the town and its residents.

He has also served on the Planning Board, and now sits on the town’s Economic Development Committee.

He has said he wants to focus on increasing resident participation in town government.

“You can’t have a vibrant community without citizen involvement,” he said ahead of the election.


MacDonald is the owner of an automobile dealership in Fairfield and had said in the run-up to Election Day that he wants to keep the tax rate down, while working to improve transparency in municipal operations.

Tulley, who has lived in Fairfield for more than 30 years, said he wanted to attract businesses to town. He also said the town is not doing enough to address PFAS contamination by taking advantage of federal money that is available.

In another race, Bruce William was declared a write-in winner to serve on the Kennebec Water District board of trustees for a three-year term.

Kennebec County commissioner loses race for Winthrop School Board

WINTHROP — Joe Pietroski, the most recently elected Kennebec County commissioner, has missed out on the rare opportunity to hold two elective offices at the same time after losing to two challengers in a three-way race for seats on the Winthrop School Board.

Incumbent Timothy Wess and political newcomer Monika McLaughlin edged out Pietroski on Tuesday, receiving 1,122 and 1,145 votes, respectively, to Pietroski’s 976.


Wess, 45, has served one term on the board and said that if reelected, he would use his role to listen to the needs of teachers. He is a special education teacher in Skowhegan-based Maine School Administrative District 54.

McLaughlin, 59, is a writer and former English teacher at Winthrop High School who is now working on a novel. She said she decided to run as a way to return to the education world and create opportunities for students to connect with one another.

McLaughlin is to fill the seat now held by Board Chair Kelley Hooper, whose term expires Dec. 31.

Babcock defeats Hawkins for seat on Gardiner City Council 

GARDINER — Special education teacher Veronica Babcock defeated housing specialist and landlord Michael Hawkins on Tuesday to win a seat on the Gardiner City Council.

Babcock, who is to represent District 2, received 219 votes to Hawkins’ 130.


Babcock has served on the Maine School Administrative District 11 board, including six years as chair, and said she ran for the City Council to learn how Gardiner’s tax dollars are spent and to be a part of figuring out how to allocate city funds.

Babcock, 48, said her top priorities include improving and adding sidewalks, which are requests she said she heard repeatedly when collecting signatures to get onto the ballot.

In a race that appeared to be contested but was not, former Councilor Shawn Dolley won the District 3 seat on the City Council. Zachary Wanberg, who qualified for the race, withdrew in mid-October — after the ballots were printed — because he planned to move to the West Coast.

Dolley, an architect and innkeeper in Gardiner, received 210 votes to Wanberg’s 132.

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