Candidates set for Portland’s November elections

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PORTLAND — The field of candidates for mayor in 2015 will not be nearly as large as in 2011.

It will not even be as large as the City Council District 1 race.

The full list of candidates for the Nov. 3 election was released on the city website after Tuesday’s 4:30 p.m. deadline for filing nomination papers. Four candidates plan to run for mayor, while five are in the running to replace Councilor Kevin Donoghue, who is not seeking a fourth term.

Incumbent Mayor Michael Brennan will be opposed by former state Sen. Ethan Strimling and Portland firefighter Chris Vail. Both ran against him in 2011, in the city’s first popular election of a mayor in 88 years; Strimling finished second in the 15-candidate field.

Brennan is a resident of 49 Wellington Rd. Strimling lives at 211 Spring St., and Vail at 1119 Washington Ave.

Also seeking the seat is Tom MacMillan, of 24A Deering Ave. He serves as chairman of the Green Independent Party in Portland, although city races are usually run without party affiliations.

The race to replace Donoghue drew attorney Brandon Mazer of 45 Eastern Promenade, Sean W. Kerwin of 18 Parris St., Patrick T. Flynn of 18 Centennial St. on Peaks Island, Paula M. Guillemette Agopian of 98 Monument St. and Belinda S. Ray of 65 East Oxford St.

Flynn is currently on the Casco Bay Lines Board of Directors. District 1 covers the eastern portion of the city peninsula and the Casco Bay Islands.

In District 2, covering the western end of the peninsula and a portion of the neighborhood near the University of Southern Maine, Councilor David Marshall is not seeking re-election after a third term.

Running for Marshall’s seat are attorney Spencer Thibodeau of 69 Pitt St., teacher and artist Robert B. Korobkin of 85 Fessenden St., and attorney Wells Lyons of 97 Danforth St.

Councilor Nick Mavodones Jr., of 79 Chenery St., announced Aug. 19 he will seek a new term in an at-large seat. He is opposed by homeless advocate Matthew Coffey of 5 Portland St. and David S. Foster of 45 Deane St.

Each council seat has a three-year term, as do the School Board seats.

The three incumbent School Board members are seeking re-election. Current Chairwoman Sarah Thompson, of 83 Starbird Road, is opposed by Paul Okot of 50 Illsley St. for the at-large seat.

In District 1, Jenna Vendil, 38 Vesper St., will be challenged by Okot’s sister, Josephine Okot, of 38 Vesper St. In District 2, Holly Seeliger, of 303 Brackett St., is unopposed.

Peaks Island Council races are for three seats, two with three-year terms and the remainder with a one-year term. All candidates are unopposed, as Sidney Gerard of 51 Prince Ave. and Mary Anne Mitchell of 31 Sterling St. will run for the three-year seats. Howard L. Pedlikin of 118 Hussey Road will run for the one-year term.

Incumbent Kenneth Levinsky, of 37 Hamblet Ave., is unopposed as he seeks re-election to the board of trustees for the Portland Water District.

City voters will also cast ballots on two municipal referendum questions on Nov. 3. The first would create a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour by July 1, 2019, although the citizen initiative question would not affect municipal employees.

The second question would amend the city zoning ordinance to reduce possible building heights at the Portland Co. complex at 58 Fore St., while creating a scenic overlay zone. The referendum also calls for creating a task force to assess scenic views and possible zoning to protect them, and for developers seeking zoning changes to provide more detailed plans to the city.

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

Portland City Hall may see new occupants after the Nov. 3 election, as four candidates have announced intentions to run for mayor. Five have filed nomination papers to run for the City Council District 1 seat.

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.
  • KevinEarl

    Nice to see Mr. Lyons running on the West End!

    • RC Lations

      Agreed! I was hoping to see him on the ballot this year. A strong platform and already deeply involved as a community activist gets my vote.