Brunswick council, School Board ballot has only 2 contests

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BRUNSWICK — Only two School Board seats, in Districts 1 and 2, will be contested on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

The School Board race in District 6 and all three Town Council elections will have unopposed candidates. The deadline for candidates to file nomination papers was Friday, Nov. 9.

Two School Board members are not seeking re-election: Richard Ellis in District 1 and District 6 representative Janet Connors.

Ellis said he has made no secret over the last year that he would not run in the hope of encouraging other members of the community to step forward.

“I think fresh ideas are good,” Ellis said by phone Tuesday afternoon. “There’s no specific dissatisfaction (for not running).”

Ellis, a parent of two students in the school system, has served two terms and said he is proud of the board’s work during his six-year tenure.

“I feel that the state of the Brunswick school system is in a pretty good place,” he said. 

Connors is the longest-serving member of the School Board, having represented District 6 for 18 years.

“I’m ready to retire,” she said Wednesday.

Elizabeth Sokoloff of High Street is unopposed on the ballot to replace Connors.

Competing for the District 1 seat are Byron Watson, of Beverly Drive, and Mandy Merrill, of Young Avenue.

Watson previously filed papers to run for state House District 51 on the Republican ticket, but dropped out in late August to make a bid for the School Board. He previously served on the board, including as chairman for a brief period in early 2010. This is Watson’s third bid for the District 1 seat, which he lost to Ellis in the past two elections.

In District 2, former two-term Town Councilor Benjamin Tucker will challenge incumbent School Board member Brenda Clough of Atwood Lane.

In the Town Council election, incumbent Councilor David Watson, who has served on the council since 2002, is unopposed for re-election in District 1.

Council Vice Chairman Steve Walker is unopposed in District 2, and in District 6, incumbent Councilor Jane Millett is also unopposed.

Town councilors and School Board members serve a three-year terms that begin Jan. 1, 2017

Absentee ballots become available at the town clerk’s office Oct. 11; they can also be requested at maine.gov.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 3.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

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Reporter on the Brunswick/Harpswell beat. Proud Bowdoin grad that you can find reporting on municipal, school, and community news, or inside the many coffee and sandwich shops around the Midcoast. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100.
  • Buzz Johnson

    My family and I are supporting Byron Watson! Byron’s plan to bring dual enrollment to Brunswick is superb.