Westbrook has chosen a new mayor by a margin of just 90 ballots – less than 1 percent of the vote.

The winner of the four-way race is Michael Sanphy, 69, a Democrat who has represented Ward 5 on the City Council since 2011. Sanphy is retired from his career in the Westbrook police and fire departments. He got 3,231 votes, 36 percent.

“I just want to thank the people of Westbrook who supported me and elected me,” Sanphy said. “I need to get my feet wet and find out how to approach some of these problems.”

His closest opponent was Michael Shaughnessy, 58, an art professor who has long been involved with the nonprofit Friends of the Presumpscot River.

Shaughnessy had the endorsement of Mayor Colleen Hilton, who decided not to run for a fourth term, and he was the official nominee at the local Democratic caucus. But Sanphy collected enough signatures to put his name on the ballot as well, and Shaughnessy fell short in the citywide vote with 3,141 votes, 35 percent.

Despite the close margin, he said Wednesday that he has ruled out a request for a recount.

“I just sent Mike a letter of congratulations on being mayor,” Shaughnessy said. “The race was a good race. It was respectful.”

The other two candidates were James Tranchemontagne, 42, a restaurant owner in Westbrook, and Jason Jerrier, 44, an Army veteran. Tranchemontagne finished third with 2,188 votes, and Jerrier was fourth with 455. Sanphy said he hoped to work with his opponents in the future.

“Let’s sit down and talk,” he said.

Voters also decided on a referendum question and two other races in Westbrook.

Voters approved a $27 million school expansion project. The money will pay to renovate and expand Saccarappa Elementary School and Westbrook Middle School, which parents and school officials have said are overcrowded.

Ann Peoples, who has been elected to city and state offices in the past, won an at-large City Council seat. Incumbent Victor Chau kept his seat in Ward 2 despite a challenge from a current Westbrook School Committee member.

The new mayor and members of the Westbrook City Council will be sworn in Dec. 5.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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