Lewiston voters chose entrepreneur Carl Sheline to be their new mayor Tuesday night, picking one political newcomer over another to helm Maine’s second-largest city.
Sheline, the co-founder of Munka Coworking in downtown Lewiston, got 60 percent of votes to Donna Gillespie’s 40 percent, according to unofficial results. Sheline will succeed Mark Cayer, who declined to run for a second term after taking office before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The race was low-key compared with other recent Lewiston races. Progressive Ben Chin raised nearly $90,000 in an unsuccessful bid to oust a former conservative mayor in 2015, then ran another fraught and losing campaign against Shane Bouchard two years later. Cayer won the seat after Bouchard resigned in 2019 on the heels of racist texts that were made public.
In this race, Sheline and Gillespie largely focused on city-related issues such as homelessness, economic development, infrastructure and substance use. Sheline massively outspent Gillespie and netted a major endorsement when the U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, threw his support behind him in an unusual move for a delegation member.
Sheline spent more than $15,000 on his campaign as of Oct. 19, according to city records, with most of that coming from a loan of more than $13,000 from the candidate himself. Gillespie, a retired social worker and former city council hopeful, spent just $566 in that same time period.