LEWISTON — Voters re-elected Mayor Larry Gilbert for another two years Tuesday, giving him an 845-vote edge against challenger Mark Paradis.
Gilbert claimed 6,218 votes to Paradis' 5,373. Gilbert had 53.6 percent of the vote to Paradis' 46.4 percent.
Paradis said he was saddened by the results.
"To be honest, if we did something wrong in this campaign, I don't know what it was," he said. "We tried to cover all the bases, but we just didn't."
Gilbert said he was surprised the vote was as close as it was, but he said his opponent's campaign spending had some impact. According to campaign spending reports up to the week before the election, Paradis spent $2,996 in advertisements and campaign signs; Gilbert spent $1,438.
"You have to understand the campaign that was waged against me was significant," Gilbert said. "They spent a lot of money and advertising. So, you need to look at what each vote cost. I was rather conservative in my financial expenditures for my re-election."
Gilbert said he was looking forward to working with a new council.
"Now, I'm going to look forward, not back," Gilbert said. "I have two more years to go now, so I'm just going to continue to do what I have been doing all along, in service to the community."
Five new councilors
Two former city councilors will be returning to City Hall; the only incumbent seeking another term lost. In all, five new councilors will be on the council when they are inaugurated in January.
In Ward 2, voters put Renee Bernier back in office. Bernier was the city's Ward 2 representative and council president until 2007, when she decided not to run. Bernier had 958 votes, outdistancing challengers Don D'Auteuil, with 771 votes, and Doreen Christ, with 455 votes. Candidate Andrew MacIsaac, who withdrew from the race, picked up 127 votes.
In Ward 4, Ron Jean had 1,064 votes to incumbent Denis Theriault's 801. Jean held that seat until 2007, when he was defeated by Theriault.
In Ward 1, voters selected former School Committee member John Butler over two rivals. Butler claimed 584 votes. Stanley Pelletier had 450 votes and Douglas Stone had 333 votes.
In Lewiston's Ward 6, Mark A. Cayer defeated David Dunn 1,402 to 517.
In Ward 7, candidate Stephen Morgan claimed 1,562 votes in his unchallenged race to his first City Council term. Incumbent Ward 3 Councilor Larry Poulin claimed 962 votes and incumbent Ward 5 Councilor Tina Bailey had 816 votes. Both were unchallenged for the seats.