AUBURN — A recount of the mayoral election confirmed that Jason Levesque squeaked out a win over Adam Lee. 

Levesque’s initial lead of six votes doubled to 12 after a more than six-hour recount Tuesday at Auburn Hall.

Lee conceded the race at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The tally showed Levesque winning by 12 votes, 3,628 to 3,616.

“Democracy is a beautiful thing,” Levesque said via phone call after the results were confirmed. 

He said he wasn’t expecting the tally to take a major swing one way or the other during the recount, but that he’s glad the recount took place. Lee requested the recount two days after one of the closest mayoral races in city history. 

“I’m glad that Adam did this. I think it eliminates any doubt in anyone’s mind,” Levesque said. 

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A few minutes after the recount was completed, Lee issued a statement over social media. 

“I will not be Auburn’s next mayor,” he wrote. “I congratulate Jason and earnestly offer my services and support. I love this community. And while I will not be mayor, I will remain involved and engaged. I appreciate all who volunteered for, donated to, supported, and voted for my campaign. We stayed positive and issues oriented. We worked hard. I am proud of that.

At the end of the day, the most important part of our government is not the elected officials, rather it’s the residents who elect them. It is our collective responsibility as residents to hold our elected officials responsible. Increased public engagement and the drive to restore trust and transparency to Auburn Hall were the objectives of my campaign. Those objectives do not end with my campaign. Decisions are made by those who show up. Show up!” 

Each candidate was required to find up to six volunteers to hand-count ballots for the recount, which began at 9 a.m. in the Council Chamber at Auburn Hall. 

In addition to their individual volunteers, Levesque received assistance from Kim Pettengill, a recount specialist for the Republican Party, while Lee hired Ben Grant, a recount specialist, to inspect ballots.

Levesque said the ballot count was inspected by the City Clerk’s office. 

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On Election Day, the results showed Lee lost to Levesque, 3,623 to 3,617.

In the recount, Levesque picked up five votes, and Lee lost one. City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said in the final tally, a total of 7,691 ballots were cast, with 447 blank or write-in votes. 

Levesque said Tuesday that the additional votes going to him came from three absentee ballots, as well as ballots that had a check mark instead of the correctly filled-in circle, which would be missed by voting machines but showed the necessary “voter intent.” 

In an official statement released through the Maine GOP, Levesque said he ran to give back to the city he grew up in.

“I love my incredible Maine town of Auburn and its amazing people. I grew up here. Auburn did so much for me and now I am determined to pay it back,” he said. “I am deeply grateful to our people for putting their faith in me, and I am so excited that we are going to be working together as a team now.”

He went on to say that as Auburn’s mayor, he will be working night and day “on behalf of our great people and with their help, we will make all of our lives here even better than they already are.”

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Auburn’s inaugural ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 4. 

On Tuesday, Levesque said he talked to some current city officials and councilors who came in during the recount. 

“If we’re not having fun doing what we’re doing, then someone’s doing something wrong,” he said. “This is a great time in Auburn’s history. We’re going to get the work done, and Auburn’s going to be a better place because of it.” 

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Jason Levesque watches the mayoral election recount at Auburn Hall on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal) 

Kim Pettengill, a recount specialist for the Republican Party, and Ben Grant, a recount specialist hired by candidate Adam Lee, inspect a ballot during the mayoral election recount at Auburn Hall on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal) 


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