Adam Lee, left, talks with supporters at Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn on Tuesday after election results for the mayor’s race were tallied. Lee said he’s still mulling whether to request a recount after losing by six votes. (Christopher Williams/Sun Journal)
— Andrew Rice (@AndrewRiceSJ) November 8, 2017
AUBURN — A day after Jason Levesque appeared to beat his mayoral opponent Adam Lee by just six votes, Lee has said he’s still mulling whether to request a recount.
According to state law, Lee has five business days to submit a written request for a recount of the results. Not many elections, even at a local level, are decided by such a slim margin.
“I’m going to continue to take a look at it, talk with my wife and friends, and have a real night’s sleep tonight,” Lee said Wednesday regarding the decision.
Lee, who was active on social media during the entire mayoral campaign, has remained low-key since the results were tallied Tuesday — except for one tweet that said simply, “0.499585635359116,” the percentage of the vote he lost by.
It included the hashtag “#votingmatters.”
While awaiting word on a possible recount Wednesday, Levesque said in a statement,”I am looking forward to having the results certified, and working with outgoing Mayor LaBonte, and the administration on a smooth transition. I am also looking forward to working with Mr. Lee as both an outgoing city councilor and someone that is a wealth of knowledge in multiple areas that can and should be reviewed and in some cases acted upon.”
In response to the close vote, Levesque also posted news coverage of the election to his campaign Facebook page, stating, “When your kids ask ‘what difference does your vote make?’…”
Auburn City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said Wednesday that if Lee requests a recount within the next five business days, “the recount must be held as soon as reasonably possible at a time and place that affords the designated recount candidates a reasonable opportunity to be present.”
She said she was still working Wednesday afternoon to certify the results after a long night Tuesday, with her office down one staffer.
If the recount occurs, Clements-Dallaire said the candidate requesting the recount has to provide representatives to recount ballots, which is held under the supervision of the City Clerk’s office.
She added that the result of the mayoral race reminded her of a race in 2014, when there was a six-vote difference in the race between Holly Lasagna and Vern Paradie for a seat on the Lewiston-Auburn Joint Charter Commission.
Although he favored a merger, Lee downplayed Tuesday the merger referendum’s importance in the mayoral race.
“I have abundant faith in the voters that they’re able to separate those two issues,” he said. “Certainly, the objective and a smart strategy on the other side, seeing what the result might be, was to make that the issue of this election.”
But the slim margin of Levesque’s win appears to show that strategy didn’t play out, Lee said.
Despite his loss, Lee said he plans to help move the community forward.
Auburn mayoral candidate Jason Levesque took in the election results at Gipper’s Sports Grill on Tuesday. (Sun Journal file photo)