SOUTH PORTLAND — Incumbent City Councilor Thomas Blake and School Board member Alan Livingston defeated two other candidates Tuesday for two at-large seats on the City Council.
According to unofficial results, Blake received 6,140 votes and Livingston earned 3,858. Frequent School Department critic Albert DiMillo Jr., a retired corporate accountant, was third with 3,511. Donald Russell, a marketing professional, finished last with 3,190 votes.
City Clerk Susan Mooney said 61 percent of the city’s 18,691 voters turned out for the election.
Blake, a retired firefighter and adjunct teacher at Southern Maine Community College, said he was surprised to receive more than 2,000 votes more than his closest opponent, since he was a Democratic incumbent in a Republican-fueled anti-incumbent election cycle.
“That in itself had me worried,” Blake said.
Blake said he looks forward to addressing issues that residents spoke with him about during the campaign, including connecting better with constituents and improving communication and cooperation with the School Board.
Blake noted that Livingston, who won the other seat, may be able to help the council better connect with school leaders.
And that’s exactly what Livingston said he looks forward to doing, not only in a philosophical way, but in practical ways, too.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of services we can coordinate together,” said Livingston, a math teacher at Cheverus High School in Portland.
Livingston said he knew he was in a close race with DiMillo and Russell and thinks his lifelong residency and name recognition put him over the top.
“Plus I went out and chatted with people and went door-to-door,” Livingston said. “And I listened.”
In uncontested races, School Board members Richard Carter and Sara Goldberg each won another three-year term.
While there were no candidates for the District 3 School Board seat, Richard Matthews declared himself a write-in candidate.
Mooney said on Wednesday that Matthews received 220 votes, while Linda Eastman, who was not a declared candidate, received seven votes.
Since Livingston was only one year into a three-year term on the School Board, Mooney said the City Council will likely appoint someone recommended by the School Board to serve until the November 2011 election.
Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This story was updated on Wednesday, Nov. 3.