PORTLAND, Maine — In less than four weeks, Maine's largest city will have a new mayor.
Former Portland school board chair, Kate Snyder took home the win Tuesday night. Beating Portland's incumbent mayor, Ethan Strimling and current Portland city councilman, Spencer Thibodeau.
"I feel like everything is just starting to settle in." Mayor-Elect, Kate Snyder said in her kitchen Wednesday afternoon.
The mom of three is still processing her victory. She says she knew she could do it, but was shocked to receive a call from Mayor Ethan Strimling saying he was conceding so early in the night Tuesday.
"It was like 9 o'clock," Snyder said. "I thought 'this is too early' and everyone in the room was getting excited and I said 'everybody this is too early, the results are not final'... and a little later I was just like 'oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening'."
She says voters were ready for change and believes she brought a fresh perspective to the table. Snyder and her family have lived in the same home off of Brighton Avenue for more than 25 years. She says living off the peninsula gave her a unique advantage over the other candidates.
"To be the only homeowner in the race, the only parent and also the only person who lives off peninsula -- I think it's a relatability thing," Snyder said. "It resonates with some Portland residents, not all of course but... [it gives you a different perspective] yup, I think that's right."
Snyder says it's no secret that Portland has a problem with affordable housing, homelessness, and transportation. Public education is also a priority for her.
In fact, she says they were the most common things people spoke to her about when she was campaigning.
On top of that, she says some residents are having a hard time keeping up with all of the changes and that the city needs to find a better balance that suits everyone.
"Some people love the new changes, they love the growth and the development and some who don't at all," Snyder said. "They're real struggles that pull on people's hearts and emotions when it comes to the changes that we are seeing in a lot of the neighborhoods and what it means maybe to someone's sense of place."
After her win, Snyder told reporters she wanted to bring the position of mayor back to what the rulebook says. Saying it makes a difference when people can see the job description next to a persons' actions. Snyder is anxious to get to work with her fellow councilors next month.
"I want to move into the position very, very respectful of the councilors who are there who are working, who exercise their option to vote and who have been working on the issues at the city council level for some time now," Snyder said. "So I want to go in respectful of the job description, acknowledging my vote on the council is one of nine and that we make decisions as a body."
Snyder will be officially be sworn in as mayor of Portland on December 2, 2019.