Caron squeaks out Portland School Committee re-election

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PORTLAND — School Committee at-large member Jaimey Caron narrowly won re-election Tuesday, along with fellow incumbent Kathleen Snyder.

In District 3, Laurie Davis received 61 percent of the vote to beat Frank Gallagher, according to unofficial totals.

Snyder, 40, received 13,250 votes. Caron, 45, had 9,538. Former School Department employee Morton Soule, 65, finished third with 9,473.

“I would have liked to have won by more, but a win is a win,” Caron said. “I’ll take it.”

Soule said on Wednesday that he will not seek a recount, since the ballots were tallied by a machine rather than hand, leaving less margin for error.

“I just can’t imagine something going wrong,” said Soule, who complimented his opponents for running a clean campaign. “The voice of the people was heard and I accept the results.”

Davis, a former district employee and school administrator, received 2,824 votes and Gallagher, an advertising and public relations consultant, got 1,573 votes.

Davis, 58, said she is thankful for the opportunity to represent the district that includes Stroudwater, Rosemont and Nason’s Corner, as well as parts of Deering Center, Oakdale and Libbytown.

The director of Upward Bound at the University of Southern Maine acknowledged that it may not be easy to replace current School Committee Chairman Peter Eglinton, who chose not to run.

“I’m honored by the confidence that I think voters showed in my ability to step into his shoes in District 3 and (I’m) looking forward to doing that,” Davis said.

Davis said she believes voters were drawn to her experience and expertise.

For six years in the 1980s, Davis worked as the city’s senior federal and city program evaluator. In that capacity, she developed experience with federal grant applications and accountability.

Davis estimated she knocked on about 1,400 doors during her campaign.

“I heard that people were generally satisfied with Portland Public School and wanted to see (progress) continue,” she said. 

Caron said he is excited to return to the committee and continue its initiatives on facilities and comprehensive planning.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to to keep the momentum of what we’re doing on the School Committee,” he said.

This story was updated on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net

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