WESTBROOK – Incumbent Colleen Hilton defeated Bruce Chuluda by more than 300 votes in the mayor’s race, in a repeat of their match-up two years ago.
The vote total Tuesday night was 2,659 to 2,350.
Final results were delayed after a voting machine at the Westbrook Community Center, where Ward 1 residents cast their ballots, was accidentally reset, and all of the ballots had to be recounted.
Around 9:45 p.m., Ward 1 City Councilor Brendan Rielly, who helped recount the votes, ran up to the second floor of Profenno’s Pizzeria and Pub, where Democrats had gathered, and declared Hilton the winner.
Hilton, 55, stood on a chair in front of the crowd and thanked those who supported her throughout the past two years, her first term as mayor.
She acknowledged that she’s taken a lot of criticism for her decisiveness, but said she didn’t plan to change her approach.
“We’ve hopefully done things based on what’s right, and we’ll continue to do that,” said Hilton, a former School Committee member and the chief executive officer of VNA Home Health & Hospice in South Portland.
Hilton had said during the campaign that she would focus on encouraging more economic development successes, like the coming expansion of biotechnology company Idexx Laboratories.
Chuluda, 63, had been mayor for six years before being unseated in 2009 by Hilton.
Chuluda, who was with other Republicans at the Frog and Turtle restaurant, had all but conceded defeat even before the Ward 1 results.
“The people have spoken,” he said. “I wish her the best.”
Democrats swept all contested races in Westbrook.
City Clerk Lynda Adams held onto the post she’s had for the past four years. She defeated former finance director Susan Rossignol, 3,114 to 1,801.
In the City Council Ward 2 seat, incumbent Democrat Victor Chau, who’s finishing his first term, defeated Republican Matt Maloney, 602 to 281.
In Ward 4, Dorothy Aube, a councilor for six years, received 327 votes. Gary Rairdon, who is unenrolled, got 289 and Republican Ernest Porell finished third with 153.
Democrat Michael Sanphy, who had been appointed to fill the Ward 5 seat, won his first election, defeating Republican Michael Lawson, 889-558.
The following incumbents ran unopposed for council seats: Rielly, Ward 1; Democrat Paul Emery, Ward 3; Democrat Michael Foley, at large, and Republican John O’Hara, at large.
Four Democratic candidates for School Committee also ran unopposed. They were Alexander Stone, Ward 1; Veronica Bates, Ward 2; James Violette, Ward 5, and Suzanne Salisbury, at large.
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at [email protected]