Just weeks before Brunswick’s special election to fill the Town Council seat vacated by Christopher Watkinson, a District 5 resident has finally applied for the job.

Jennifer Hicks, who moved to Brunswick in 2016 and serves on the town’s Recycling and Sustainability Committee, said she decided to make her first foray into electoral politics to give her neighbors a reason to stay engaged with local government. As an official write-in candidate, Hick’s name will not appear directly on the ballot but will be posted in voting spaces.

“I want people to vote whenever there’s an election in this town,” she said. “A big part of that is having someone to vote for.”

Mother to two students in the Brunswick School Department, Hicks highlighted improving communication between the town and its residents and supporting the environment as two priority goals. She said she would work hard to represent the demographically diverse District 5, which is home to businesses, immigrants, seniors, renters and more.

“I like this town a lot, so I like learning what people are thinking about it,” Hicks said. “I’m always interested in figuring out how I can be an advocate for things that will make it an even better place to live.”

Since Watkinson resigned in November in the face of child pornography possession charges, the Town Council has had to tackle several major issues shorthanded. Yet even as dozens showed up to public hearings to lobby for brick sidewalk upgrades and an expensive land purchase near Maquoit Bay, District 5 residents have been slow to throw their hats in the ring for February’s special election.


In-person voting for the contest, which will be Brunswick’s first special election since a mere 26 District 6 residents turned out two years ago to elect Kate Foye to the Town Council, will take place at Town Hall on Feb. 28 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Absentee ballots are currently available to registered District 5 residents at Town Hall. Voters must request absentee ballots no later than 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.

The race will be Brunswick’s second in four months to feature zero official candidates on the ballot, after Nathanial Shed beat out three other declared write-in candidates to win his District 6 council seat last November. Before that race, Brunswick had not held a Town Council race without an official candidate since 1994, according to the town clerk’s office.

Other District 5 residents interested in declaring a write-in candidacy have until the end of the day Friday, Feb. 24, to contact the town clerk’s office.

The winner will serve through the end of 2023, when Watkinson’s term expires. If elected, Hicks said she would consider running again in the fall.

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