HAMPDEN, Maine — One town councilor retained her seat, one former councilor reclaimed a seat after a brief absence, and one politician earned a seat in her first run at public office on a busy Election Day at the Hampden town office.
A year after being defeated in a re-election bid, Bill Shakespeare garnered the highest vote total with 1,558 while incumbent Shelby Wright won re-election with 1,549 and Carol Duprey claimed the third open council seat with 1,445 votes.
The rest of the crowded council race field went as follows: David Ryder at 1,212; Kelly Paul with 1,157; Greg Sirois at 1,089; Mark Cormier with 1,061; and James Davitt at 881.
In the school committee race for two seats on the SAD 22 board, rookie candidate Jessica Scott had the highest total with 2,631 votes and Richard Moore retained his seat to take the other open spot on the board with 2,229. Recent Hampden Academy graduate Jacob Burns came up short with 1,307.
Duprey — wife of former Hampden Town Councilor and current Maine Rep. Brian Duprey, who won re-election with 2,340 votes to challenger Kelly Bickmore’s 1,604 votes — is a U.S. Navy veteran of 10 years. She is also a small-business owner and mother of five children.
Wright, who is a community outreach coordinator for the Maine Democratic Party, a grant writer and community volunteer, returns for a second three-year term.
Shakespeare, a lifetime Hampden resident, owns Shakespeare Electrical Service in Hampden. He returns to the council after a one-year absence.
Scott and her husband have two daughters attending Hampden schools.
She is completing a master’s degree in education in secondary life and physical sciences. Moore and his wife have three children, one of whom is attending the new Hampden Academy. Their two other children are in college.
Like many other local communities, Hampden saw an impressive voter participation rate at 76 percent — 4,229 out of a possible 5,559 registered voters cast ballots.
“I’m not sure on the exact total, but we may have been closer to 80 percent in 2008 and we probably had about 200 voters register today as well,” said Town Clerk Denise Hodsdon.
Official results were released at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Hodsdon, who started her work day at 5:30 a.m., said the late release was not due to ballot or machine problems.
“No. We had new tally sheets and were just taking extra steps to make sure everything was tabulated correctly and completely,” she said. “We had some long lines, but they seemed to go fairly quickly. People took things in stride.”
Town Manager Sue Lessard helped out as a deputy warden from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It was steady, steady, steady. No lulls,” Lessard said. “Our absentee ballot total was down from 2008, but I think that may be offset by the voter turnout we’ve seen. We’ve had a long line all day.”
John Quesnel tallied 3,359 votes to retain his position as Hampden Water District trustee. He ran unopposed.