Jeff Harmon, a retired Maine State Police deputy chief and Auburn police officer won the Auburn mayoral race on Tuesday. Credit: Courtesy of Jeff Harmon

AUBURN, Maine — Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque was unseated in Tuesday’s election by a former state police leader who ran against the incumbent’s development policies.

Jeff Harmon, a retired Maine State Police deputy chief and Auburn police officer, received 62 percent of votes, compared with 38 percent for Levesque, a businessman and former Republican congressional candidate and businessman who first won the mayoral seat in 2017.

Though the mayoral race in the city of about 24,000 is nonpartisan, Harmon is a Democrat and Levesque is a Republican. The race was notable because the outgoing mayor was already airing plans of running for governor in 2026, when Gov. Janet Mills faces term limits.

Harmon is a member of groups that have opposed the development changes supported by Levesque, particularly new construction near Lake Auburn and a potential filtration plant for the lake that some argued would lead to higher taxes and water bills.

“Auburn voters had a clear choice,” Harmon said. “It’s going to take a lot of help from the community.”

Levesque  has received some national praise for his efforts to create more housing and development in the sprawling swing city. After he learned of the result, he said representing Auburn “has been one of the greatest honors of my professional life.”

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque reads the names of those killed in the Lewiston shootings to community members gathered, Nov. 2, during a candlelight vigil in Auburn. Levesque came up short in his bid for reelection Tuesday. Credit: Matt York / AP

“Sometimes dealing with what’s right is not what’s popular,” Levesque said. “I wish the future City Council all the best and encourage them to continue to do what’s right.”

Auburn’s twin city of Lewiston also had a mayoral election Tuesday, nearly two weeks after a gunman killed 18 people, including the son of Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker, who was easily reelected on Tuesday.

Billy Kobin is a politics reporter who joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023. He grew up in Wisconsin and previously worked at The Indianapolis Star and The Courier Journal (Louisville, Ky.) after graduating...