Lewiston mayoral candidate Carl Sheline, right, shakes hands with voters Tuesday at Longley School in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Carl Sheline will serve as Lewiston’s next mayor after defeating Donna Gillespie by a tally of 4,418 to 2,957.

Sheline will replace outgoing Mayor Mark Cayer, who did not seek reelection after one term.

Immediately following the results, Sheline issued a statement thanking his supporters and those who worked on his campaign.

“Throughout this campaign, I have made it clear that to move Lewiston forward we must focus on economic development, improving our city’s image and strengthening our schools to help put Lewiston back on the map to keep and attract businesses and families,” he said. “Tonight, the voters have spoken and it’s clear that Lewiston is all in on moving forward together. Thank you for trusting in me and electing me to be the next mayor of Lewiston.”

This year’s campaign appeared low-key compared to recent mayoral races in Lewiston, with two relative political newcomers on the ballot.

Sheline, however, outspent Gillespie handily, and received endorsements from several well-known business and community leaders, current and former elected officials, and Democratic members of Lewiston’s legislative delegation.

Sheline, co-manager of Munka Coworking in Lewiston, ran on a platform of addressing economic development and the city’s image, two issues that were also central to Cayer’s term.

Results were posted by the city just after 10 p.m.

At 9:45 p.m., when both campaigns were still awaiting results, Sheline said he was “feeling confident,” with his campaign tallying ward totals available so far.

“As I’ve repeatedly said, and will continue to say, I’m proud to live in Lewiston,” he said in his victory statement. “Our future is bright and I’m eager to roll up my sleeves to get to work for Lewiston’s residents and businesses.”

Gillespie, a retired state social worker, said she spent Tuesday bouncing between polls, starting at Longley then moving onto the Lewiston Armory, the Green Ladle and Montello School.

She said she spent the day talking to voters, many of whom told her they were disappointed there wasn’t a mayoral debate this year. The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Sun Journal hosted a virtual candidates forum, but did not host a live mayoral debate for the 2021 election.

She said some people told her they didn’t vote on the mayoral race due to not having enough information.

Gillespie planned to wait for results with family Tuesday night. She did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Mayor Mark Cayer said he spoke with Sheline Wednesday morning, congratulating him on the win. He said the pair will meet later this week to discuss the transition.

“I think Carl will bring fresh ideas to many positive things happening around economic development and I look forward to helping in any way I can,” he said.

The total turnout for Lewiston on Tuesday was 8,111, or 28%, higher than 2019’s turnout of 22%. There were 726 blank votes for the mayoral race.

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