Cape Elizabeth Town Council election attracts 4 candidates

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Four candidates will contend for two Town Council seats in the Nov. 7 municipal election. 

The terms of Councilors Patricia Grennon and Katharine Ray are expiring; neither one is seeking re-election. 

Peter McCarthy, Valerie Randall, Christopher Straw and James Tasse submitted nomination papers before the Sept. 8 deadline and will appear on the November ballot. 

Barring write-in campaigns, two seats up for grabs on the School Board will be uncontested. Newcomers Mohammed Shir and Hope Straw are running for seats being vacated by Joanna Morrissey and Barbara Powers, who are not seeking re-election. 

McCarthy, 76, of Balsam Road, said this is the first time he has run in a municipal election. Raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, McCarthy moved to Maine in 1996, the same year he retired after working for Western Electric Co. – now AT&T – for more than 32 years. 

Randall, 32, of Woodland Road, grew up in Portland and moved to Cape Elizabeth about four months ago. She received her master’s degree in public policy from the Muskie School of Public Service and is a trial attorney.

Christopher and Hope Straw, of Shore Road, are married and have lived in Cape Elizabeth since 2008.

Christopher Straw, 41, was born in Dover, New Hampshire, and has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of California at Davis and a law degree from New York University. He is the founder of Downeast Analytics, a consulting start-up based in Cape Elizabeth. He is a member of the Fort Williams Park Commission and was formerly a member of the Cape Elizabeth Board of Zoning Appeals and a board member of the Fort Williams Park Foundation. 

With a degree in finance from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Connecticut, Hope Straw, 47, has more than 20 years of experience as an in-house attorney handling human resource matters and contract negotiations. She works full time for Calypso Technology, a financial technology firm.

Tasse, 54, has lived in Cape Elizabeth for 10 years. Born in Massachusetts, he lived in Vermont and Colorado before moving to Maine. He is chairman of the town’s Conservation Committee and said he has experience working with town governments as the assistant director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. 

Shir, 47, of Ocean House Road, moved to Cape Elizabeth from Portland in 1997. He is the geographic information systems manager for the city of Portland and serves on the boards of Maine’s Community Foundation and Maine’s GIS User Group. He previously was a member of the Maine Civil Liberties Union board of directors, Waynflete School board of trustees, and the Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission. 

For those elected, three-year terms will begin on Monday, Dec. 11.

Applications for absentee ballots are now available on the town’s website or can be requested online using the state’s online service. 

Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at Cape Elizabeth High School on Nov. 7. 

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

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