BELFAST, Maine — Mary Mortier, a first-time candidate, won a seat on the city council Tuesday, beating Christopher Knight, 1,568-1,380.
Mortier, a real estate agent, has been active in community affairs, organizing and operating the New Year’s By-The-Bay celebration in the city for the last 14 years.
Knight, who works at Bath Iron Works, also was a political neophyte. He became involved in city politics when the council briefly considered a ban on loud motorcycles in the downtown. Knight said he was outraged at the idea, though the council never took any action on it.
The ideological differences between the two candidates were stark.
Mortier supports the Belfast Harbor Walk project, seeing it as an economic development boon. Knight opposed the city spending associated with the project.
Describing himself as a fourth -eneration Belfast resident, Knight also said the council had become insensitive to the needs of working-class residents, citing the city’s inability to get a big-box retail store like Walmart to open a store in Belfast.
In an interview with the BDN and Belfast Community TV, Mortier said she planned to “jump in with both feet” if elected. “I love Belfast. I love Waldo County,” she said. “My husband and I could have chosen anywhere to move to and live, but this was the place that we chose.”