ELLSWORTH — In a four-way race for two open City Council seats, first-term incumbent and Chairman Dale Hamilton was easily re-elected Tuesday with 2,418 votes while newcomer Gene Lyons captured 2,158, winning by a considerable margin over challengers Bronson Platner, with 1,633 votes, and Mike Springer, with 1,133 votes. Write-in candidates totaled 38 votes, while 2,162 ballots were blank.
Lyons, who has a long career in the cement business, won his council seat on his fourth attempt, having come within 18 votes of winning a seat in 2019. Lyons sought a voice on the City Council to help “all residents of Ellsworth” have a voice and “find a balance between health and livelihood” under COVID-19, he said in a pre-election interview.
“It feels good,” he said Wednesday of his election to the council. “I’m gonna sit back and see how it looks. We have a meeting on Monday, and I’ll see how it goes from there.”
Hamilton, executive director of Community Health and Counseling Services, was first elected to the council in 2017, knocking off then-Chairman John Phillips, who rejoined the council in 2018.
“I certainly appreciate the support of the community,” Hamilton said Wednesday. “Elections are just that and you never know which direction it’s going to go.”
Hamilton advocates planning for “stability and sustainability” and “structured” community involvement to help Ellsworth weather the economic and social fall-out from COVID-19, he told The American prior to the election.
With Lyons on the council, replacing John Moore, who chose not run, Hamilton said the council’s goals remain the same.
“My approach is always that with a different composition over the three years I’ve been on the council, it’s good to have a diverse group. It’s about improving the community, so I think if we continue to focus on that, and focus on involving the community, I don’t expect that to change.”
Council members serve three-year terms and select a chairman for the following year after each November election. The council will hold its annual organizational meeting on Monday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.