Portland ballot takes shape as candidates submit nomination papers

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PORTLAND — Elections for City Council and School Board seats were set Monday after candidates returned nomination papers.

While three incumbent councilors are all seeking re-election, two School Board members are stepping aside.

On the ballot for Nov. 6 are at-large seats and those in Districts 1 and 2. Each is for a three-year term.

Also on the ballot are two seats with three-year terms on the Peaks Island Council and one seat on the Portland Water District Board of Trustees with a five-year term.

All city races are nonpartisan. Write-in candidates have until Sept. 7 to declare their candidacies.

In District 1, Councilor Belinda Ray, 65 East Oxford St., is seeking her second term. She is challenged by Matt Coffey, 5 Portland St. Coffey unsuccessfully ran for council in 2015 and 2016.

Incumbent School Board District 1 member Jenna Vendil is not seeking re-election. Abusana Michael Bondo, 26 Federal St., is the only candidate to return nomination papers in the district.

District 1 covers the peninsula east of High Street, including Munjoy Hill and the Casco Bay islands, and extends to the southern end of Back Cove.

In District 2, Councilor Spencer Thibodeau, 69 Pitt St., is seeking a second term and facing a challenge from Jonathan Torsch, 461 Cumberland Ave.

In the School Board race, incumbent Holly Seeliger took out nomination papers but did not return them. Running for her seat are Jeanne Swanton, 69 Thomas St., and Emily Figdor, 31 Cushman St. Both are founders of Protect Our Neighborhood Schools.

District 2 covers the city’s West End to St. John Street and extends into the neighborhood surrounding the University of Southern Maine.

Councilor Nick Mavodones, 79 Chenery St., is seeking his eighth term in an at-large seat. His challenge comes from Joey Brunelle, 61 Kellogg St., who finished second last year running against Councilor Jill Duson.

Incumbent School Board member Sarah Thompson, 83 Starbird Road, is unopposed in her bid to win a fifth at-large term.

Andrea Kelly-Rosenberg, 72 Ledgewood Drive, was the only candidate to return nomination papers for the Peaks Island Council.

Kim Rich, 65 Copley Woods Circle, seeks to win a full term on the PWD Board of Trustees. Rich was elected in June to complete an unexpired term. She is challenged by Wayne Olson, 38 Eastern Promenade.

As of Monday’s deadline, nominating signatures for Mavodones, Figdor and Kelly-Rosenberg had not been certified by the city clerk’s office.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.