Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant, who has led the city through a decade of unprecedented change, was elected to a sixth term on Tuesday.

Voters chose between the longtime mayor and Victoria Foley, who moved to the city in 2016 because of its affordability and vibrancy. Casavant won by a vote of 3,237 to 1,849.

The election came at a pivotal time for Biddeford, which has been experiencing a revitalization that has spurred millions of dollars of new investments and excitement about the future of the former mill town. But local leaders also are grappling with concerns about housing pressures that are pricing some residents out of the city.

Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant won a sixth term on Tuesday, defeating challenger Victoria Foley 3,237 to 1,849. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Casavant, a 69-year-old retired high school teacher and former state representative, has led the city through the changes prompted by the removal of the Maine Energy Recovery Co. incinerator on Lincoln Street nearly a decade ago. He wanted to serve a sixth and final term to continue to help shape projects, find ways to connect residents and continuing work on the housing shortage.

Foley, a 38-year-old former state representative, ran for mayor because she feels Biddeford needs a new leader to guide the city through its next era of change and position it for long-term success. She says the city needs to focus on making sure that development aligns with what the city needs, including more affordable housing options.

There will be new faces on the nine-member City Council after a two-year term that included decisions on large development projects and navigating the pandemic. Scott Whiting of Ward 2, Martin Grohman of Ward 3 and Liam LaFountain of Ward 7 all ran unopposed after their predecessors did not seek re-election.

There were two contested City Council races. In Ward 4, incumbent Councilor Ashanti D. Williams (269 votes) was edged out by former city Councilor Bobby Mills (326 votes). And in Ward 5, incumbent Amy Clearwater held onto her seat 233 to 204 over Jessica Johnson, a downtown business owner.

Councilors-at-large Marc Lessard and Doris Ortiz ran unopposed for another two-year term, as did Councilors William Emhiser of Ward 1 and Norman Belanger of Ward 6.

There were seven open seats on the school committee. The candidates included incumbents Rebecca Henry (2,979 votes), Amy Grohman (2,966 votes), Randy Forcier (2,974 votes), Nathan Bean (2,566 votes) and Lisa Vadnais (3,297 votes). The other candidates were Lauren Schuyler-Giddings (2,341 votes), Meagan Desjardins (2,910 votes) and Michele Landry (2,911 votes).


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