The Portland Phoenix

Rodriguez wins at-large Portland City Council seat after recount

A new winner was declared Wednesday afternoon after a two-day recount of the Nov. 2 at-large City Council election.

School Board member Roberto Rodriguez won the seat over Planning Board Chairman Brandon Mazer, who was initially declared the winner after his name was chosen at random to break a numerical tie.

Roberto Rodriguez (Portland Phoenix/Jim Neuger)

Mazer conceded Wednesday after both campaigns agreed about the status of about three dozen contested ballots. Rodriguez finished with 8,549 votes; Mazer had 8,514.

Initially, it seemed Mazer would challenge the results, which have sent the contest to the Maine Superior Court for consideration.

But according to an announcement from the city, Rodriguez was declared the winner after both candidates and their teams resolved their dispute over 37 ballots. Mazer and Rodriguez each received an additional two votes and the remaining 33 ballots were determined to be “exhausted” and would not count.

The recount, held at Ocean Gateway, was the result of a four-way race for the seat held by longtime Councilor Nick Mavodones. Because none of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, ranked-choice runoffs were conducted that resulted in the unprecedented numerical tie between Mazer and Rodriguez, each with 8,529 votes.

Mazer was initially declared the winner when City Clerk Katherine Jones pulled his name from a bowl Nov. 4 in a brief public ceremony outside City Hall. Rodriguez immediately requested a recount.

Rodriguez’s victory means a third seat on the nine-member School Board will become vacant.

School Board member Anna Trevorrow also won a seat on the City Council in last week’s election, and she and Rodriquez will both will have to resign. Board member Jeffrey Irish resigned previously, and all three seats will remain vacant until the next scheduled municipal election in June 2022.

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