Westbrook Mayor-elect Mike Foley celebrates his victory with his supporters Tuesday night at Profenno’s on Main Street. At left is Claude Rwaganje, also celebrating his election to an At-Large City Council seat. Courtesy photo

WESTBROOK — At-Large City Councilor Mike Foley is Westbrook’s next mayor, winning the four-way race Tuesday by 95 votes over the runner-up, incumbent Mike Sanphy.

 Foley received 1,156 votes to Sanphy’s 1,061 votes, Phil Spiller Jr,.’s 1,002  and Michael Shaughnessy’s 522 votes.

Foley, 32, a landlord and part-time emergency dispatcher, is set to take office Dec. 2.

“I feel yet again the people of Westbrook picked positivity over negativity, and really in such a negative political environment, we did a great job staying positive … as a group of candidates,”  Foley said, in reference to his campaign partners Claude Rwaganje and David Morse, who won the At-Large and Ward 1 City Council seats, respectively. 


“I hope to keep Sanphy’s initiatives going, like the senior tax breaks and the veteran’s services, and we will be working on those and hitting the ground running,” Foley said.

Sanphy said Wednesday has was already working on a transition with Foley.

Sanphy said his grateful for his experience as mayor that he wishes the new faces of Westbrook’s politics good luck.

“I want to thank the people of Westbrook,” Sanphy said. “I had a term in office, and I am thankful. I served the community with my heart and soul. I spoke with Mike this morning, thanked him for the clean campaign, and things will be fine. It’s about the community, and I love Westbrook and want to serve the city best I can, and it’s important to show that we can work together.”

Sanphy said he has no plans to run for elected office again but will remain involved with the city as a citizen and as president of the Westbrook Historical Society.

Spiller, who along with Sanphy was part of a cross-party candidates’ team, Team Westbrook, came in third. 

“I am not a politician, we didn’t have a machine backing us,” Spiller said. “We came out with some inspirational things and I think we turned some heads, we did some things never done before and worked outside of the box.”

He said he plans to stay just as involved with the city as he has in the past. 

“It was a spirited campaign, many issues were brought out, and one of the things I ran upon was values and encouragement and inspiration, and inspiring others not to just be better in their own lives, but for us to all to try and do better as a community,” Spiller said.

Shaughnessy, who also ran for mayor in 2016, said this campaign was “very interesting.”

“I’m disappointed I didn’t win, but I’m not worked up,” Shaughnessy said Wednesday. ” I give congrats to Foley for running a good campaign and keeping it clean, and I am sure I will go for elected office in the future.”

Shaughnessy said for him, becoming mayor was about getting a platform to push sustainability and build strong neighborhoods.

“I had certain base priorities I’d like to see move forward and become part of the dialogue and I think that is happening,” he said. “I’m heartened people are talking about neighborhoods, talking more about sustainability.”

Foley’s election as mayor leaves a vacancy on the City Council and the need for a caucus to fill it.

“I am hoping to have a caucus before Thanksgiving so they can take the oath of office at the beginning of December,” Foley said. “I will be supporting and recommending that Mike Shaughnessy be appointed to that position, but I won’t have control over that but will endorse him to our council.”

An official caucus date is yet to be set.

A total of 3,805 voters weighed in on who should take the mayor’s seat, as well as the contested at-large, Ward 1 and Ward 5 City Council seats, for a voter turnout of about 29%.


Voters trickled into the Community Center throughout the day to cast their votes. Chance Viles/American Journal

Voter turnout was around 29%. Chance Viles/American Journal

For this election, all wards voted at the Community Center, with check-in being organized by alphabetical order as opposed to wards. Chance Viles/American Journal

City Clerk Angela Holmes hands out some Westbrook goodies to children at the polls. Chance Viles/American Journal


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