Candidates slow to fill Cape Elizabeth ballot

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CAPE ELIZABETH — With the Sept. 9 filing deadline looming, it seems there may at best be three candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot for three School Board seats.

Only one candidate had returned nomination papers as of Wednesday.

At least two and perhaps three candidates are expected to compete for two seats on the Town Council.

The three School Board seats are two three-year terms, now held by Chairwoman Mary Townsend and Kathy Ray, and the remaining two years of an unexpired term held by new state Rep. Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig, D-Cape Elizabeth.

As of Wednesday, Town Clerk Debra Lane said, Joanna Morrissey of Old Fort Road was the only resident to return papers.

Townsend took out papers for re-election and said she intended to file before the Friday deadline. Elizabeth Scifres of Longfellow Drive also took out papers, but said she was uncertain about becoming a candidate.

Townsend said she wants to serve on the board with the new superintendent of schools, Meredith Nadeau. “It has been a pleasure to serve on this board,” she said. “It has been a privilege and very fulfilling.” 

The two Town Council seats up for election are held by Council Chairman David Sherman and Councilor Anne Swift-Kayatta.

Sherman, a resident of Hunts Point Road, and former School Board member Kathy Ray, of Spurwink Avenue, have returned their papers and will be on the November ballot.

Swift-Kayatta has taken out petitions for re-election, but had not returned them as of early Wednesday afternoon.

Town Clerk Debra Lane said she has seen more filing activity near the deadline within the last few years than in the past. 

“It’s as if people wait to see who turns their papers in and then make a decision,” Lane said.

And she also said it is rare, but not unheard of, to have members of the Town Council or School Board run for the other board.

“It doesn’t happen often because each board attracts different people and deals with different agendas,” she said. “Many times they just don’t cross over.”

Nomination papers were made available Aug. 1 and residents have until 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. to return them to the clerk’s office at Town Hall.  

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson