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Potential candidates emerge for Portland City Council, School Committee elections

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Potential candidates emerge for Portland City Council, School Committee elections

PORTLAND — Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee elections in November have just become available, and so far one incumbent faces potential challengers.

William Mitchell, 39, a son of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Elizabeth Mitchell, has taken out papers for Councilor Dan Skolnik's District 3 seat. Cedarhurst Lane resident Eric Grant also took out papers late last week.

Skolnik, 41, a first-term councilor, has taken out papers for re-election.

District 3 includes several off-peninsula neighborhoods, including Libbytown, Stroudwater, Rosemont and Deering Highlands.

In a written announcement June 29, Mitchell said he is running for the council because he thinks his experience as a small business owner can be used to help make doing business in Portland easier, by streamlining the city's regulatory, licensing and permitting processes.

Mitchell lives on Orland Street with his wife, 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. He owns the geographic information technology business Mitchell Geographics and is also principal of NBT Solutions, both based in Portland.

Skolnik is an attorney in private practice. He lives on Motley Street.

On his Facebook page, the councilor lists his voting record on key issues throughout his three year term, including support for Ocean Properties in the Maine State Pier redevelopment saga. Skolnik also drew attention when he challenged the decision to add Tasers to the Police Department arsenal. Skolnik, the chairman of the council Public Safety Committee, also worked with Police Chief James Craig to craft policy governing use of the weapon.

Skolnik also helped spearhead the effort to memorialize the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by naming a section of the new Bayside Trail after the late civil rights leader.

Grant is the creator of the Maine Libertarians page on Facebook. No other information about the candidate was immediately available.

Two at-large council seats are also up for grabs. Councilors John Anton and Jill Duson have both taken out papers for re-election. They had no challengers as of Tuesday.

Oakdale Street resident Laurie Davis has taken out papers for the District 3 seat on the School Committee that is currently held by committee Chairman Peter Eglinton, who has not taken out papers for re-election.

There are also two at-large school board seats up for grabs. Incumbents Kate Snyder and Jamie Caron have yet to pull papers for re-election.

Presumpscot Street resident Morton Soule has taken out papers for an at-large seat on the committee.

Nomination papers are available at the City Clerk's Office. They are due back no sooner than Aug. 9 and no later than Aug. 23.

There is also a Portland Water District seat up for re-election, along with three Peaks Island Council seats.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net