Joseph Leonard won the special election to fill the Bangor City Council vacancy left after the death of Sarah Dubay. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Joe Leonard was elected to the Bangor City Council in a special election Tuesday that featured five candidates vying to serve the remainder of late Councilor Sarah Dubay’s term.

Leonard was handily elected with 974 votes, followed by Michael Maberry with 470 votes. Stephen Brough was third with 436 votes, Tyler Rowe received 406 votes and Daniel Smith received 320 votes. The city clerk’s office will certify the election results Wednesday.

Tuesday’s election followed a campaign during which candidates focused on the city’s growing homeless population, its tax rate, a shortage of affordable housing, infrastructure improvements and making it easier for businesses to start in Bangor.

The Bangor race was one of several across Maine that saw low turnout in the absence of a competitive gubernatorial election.

Leonard previously ran for City Council last November and in 2020. He ran this year on a platform of reforming Bangor city government by establishing an elected mayoral office.

Dubay, who died from lung cancer last fall, was elected as a newcomer to the council in November 2020. Leonard will serve the remainder of her term, which ends in November 2023.

Leonard said that because he and his fellow candidates focused on other similar issues — like homelessness and infrastructure — they agreed to run a congenial race that focused on what Bangor citizens wanted, and not on partisanship.

“It was a hard-fought, battle royale, winner-take-all race,” he said Tuesday night, adding that he commended Rowe, Smith, Brough and Maberry.

Leonard will be sworn into office on June 27, City Manager Debbie Laurie told the council on Monday night.

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to