She was unanimously voted chair Wednesday night, after a previous meeting that morning left voting in a deadlock.
Tearing up a little, Nichols talked about being raised by a single mother, and how she got into politics a couple years ago.
"And I believe that it is wrong that people who work hard don't get ahead," said Sarah Nichols. "And that was the sole principle of why I ran for office in the first place."
But it was an all day process to get a majority vote. Wednesday morning, councilors went through multiple rounds of voting, something the now former council chair Ben Sprague said doesn't usually happen.
"Usually the chair is kind of known beforehand how the vote is going to go," said Sprague," but today there were multiple candidates and that's everybody's right to put their name in the hat."
Votes earlier in the day seemed split along gender lines.
Councilors David Nealley and Gibran Graham said during the nighttime meeting that they want to re-look at how a council chair is chosen.
Graham, who was also nominated for chair, called the yearly process flawed.
"Not always the most respectful things going on with you know a lot of backroom conversations," said Gibran, "what you saw this morning was a result of some of that."
Bangor's city government is led by a city manager and city council, so the council chair is more of a ceremonial mayor.
Nichols said the council is basically one unit, and she wants to continue the work they've already done, such as with public transit and quality, affordable housing.
"My friends call me 'Miss Bangor' because I just love talking about Bangor and my city," said Nichols.
Councilor Nichols agreed that this could be a good first step in changing the charter that dictates how a council chair is chosen.
Some councilors said there's not a lot of time between swearing in new councilors and voting for a council chair.
On Twitter Wednesday night, Ben Sprague congratulated Nichols, calling her "intelligent, thoughtful, and a very hard worker. She’s going to do a great job and I’m excited about the year to come."