Senate President Troy Jackson speaks at a news conference on Jan. 17, 2023, in Augusta. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

For the second time in two weeks Karie Kelly defeated Maine Senate President Troy Jackson for a first selectman position in his hometown.

Kelly initially won the position when Allagash residents voted 78 to 70 on March 24. She and Jackson vied for the open seat previously held by Ronnie Pelletier, who did not run for reelection.

A Tuesday recount requested by the Senate president resulted in Jackson gaining an additional vote, with a final total of 77 to 71.

Jackson wrote to the Allagash Town Office on March 29 requesting the recount.

“After reviewing the list of voters, not having the ability to inspect the absentees, and that only one person actually saw the ballots during the count…I am requesting a recount where counters that I select can be present and inspect the ballots,” he wrote in a fax to the town office.

Kelly said she did not believe anything inappropriate went on during the counting process.  

“I do feel good. Now that the recount is over with, I can focus on the office,” Kelly said. “I was put there because 77 people trusted me.”

The 50-year-old southern California native has lived in Allagash for 22 years. She said the community has been good to her, and she has raised four children there.

Kelly’s son Codyallen Bennett died in January 2018. With her surviving children grown, she decided to run for office to give back to the town that had supported her through her son’s death, she said. She took out nomination papers before Jackson did.

Jackson accepted the outcome and said he wanted to ensure the ballot counting process measured up to state requirements.

“The result was that they did the count in a way that was open and transparent and the way the state says needs to be done, with two people from each side seeing all the ballots. Before there was only one person that saw the ballots,” he said.  

Correction: This story has been amended to clarify Jackson’s reasons for requesting a recall.