15 at the starting line for Portland mayoral election

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PORTLAND — Fifteen potential candidates have filed the initial paperwork at City Hall to become Portland’s first popularly elected mayor in more than 80 years.

Now, it will be up to those residents to collect enough signatures from registered voters to place their names on the November ballot.

Nomination papers will be available starting Friday, July 1, in the city clerk’s office. Candidates must return the petitions to the clerk’s office between Aug. 15 and 29.

In addition to the mayor, seats on the City Council, School Board, Peaks Island Council and Portland Water District are also on the ballot.

As of June 24, the residents who filed paperwork with City Hall to begin raising and spending money on mayoral campaigns included:

• Republicans Erik M. Bennett, of 560 Cumberland Ave. No. 2, and Richard Dodge, 1281 Forest Ave.

• Democrats Michael F. Brennan, 49 Wellington Road; Peter G. Bryant, Back Cove Estates; City Councilor Jill C. Duson, 101 Pennell Ave.; Jodie Lapchick, 7 Cushman St.; Mayor Nicholas M. Mavodones Jr., 79 Chenery St.; Jed Rathband, 9 Everett St., and Paul Schafer, 145 Sherman St. No. 3C.

• Green Independent City Councilor David A. Marshall, 41 Pine St.

• Unenrolled residents Zouhair A. Bouzrara, 157 Stevens Ave.; Charles E. Bragdon, 31 Munjoy South; Hamza A. Haadoow, 1 Coast Lane; Markos Miller, 17 Atlantic St., and Christopher Vail, 1119 Washington Ave.

Prospective mayoral candidates must collect at least 300 and not more than 500 valid signatures from registered voters to have their names placed on the ballot.

In addition to the mayor, who will also be an at-large city councilor, the District 4 and Distric 5 seats on the City Council, representing the areas of Back Cove to Woodfords Corner and North Deering, are up for grabs.

The District 4 and District 5 School Board seats, and two at-large board seats, are also on the ballot.

Between 75 and 150 valid signatures are needed for district candidates on the City Council and School Board. Candidates for the at-large seats must gather 200-500 valid signatures.

There are five open seats on the Peaks Island Council: two one-year terms, a two-year term and two three-year terms. Between 50 and 100 signatures are required to get on the ballot.

A seat on the Portland Water District is also open. Between 100 and 150 valid signatures are needed.

Marine Morrione, who represents District 5 on the School Board said she intends to seek re-election.

The other possible incumbents – District 4 School Board representative Justin Costa, at-large board member Elizabeth Houtlon, District 4 City Councilor Cheryl Leeman, District 5 City Councilor John Coyne and at-large City Councilor Dory Waxman – did not return requests for comment.

People who fail to collect the required number of signatures may still campaign as write-in candidates.

But City Clerk Katherine Jones said recent changes to the City Charter require write-in candidates to register at City Hall before Sept. 26, no less than 45 days before the election.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @randybillings.

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