Gorden wins District 3 seat on Cumberland County Commission

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Stephen Gorden of North Yarmouth defeated Mark Grover of Gray, 6,899 to 5,617, to become county commissioner in Cumberland County’s new District 3.

The seat was created when the County Charter was approved last year and expanded the districts from three to five. District 3 includes Brunswick, Freeport, Gray, Harpswell, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth and Pownal.

“I’m very pleased and happy that the voters saw fit to elect me,” Gorden said Tuesday night.

He won 983-143 in his hometown, while Grover took Gray, 1,759 to 313. Gorden secured leads of 2,487 to 1,506 in Brunswick, 861-470 in Harpswell and 1,556 to 643 in Freeport.

“The voters are fortunate to have two qualified candidates,” Grover said earlier on Tuesday. “The public will be well-served by whoever wins.”

Both Gorden and Grover opposed Tuesday’s Cumberland County referendum question, which asked whether up to $33 million should be borrowed to renovate the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

County voters unofficially passed the referendum, 45,877 to 31,559, with some small towns not counted.

Gorden, 69, is married and has five sons and two grandchildren. He has served as national vice president of corporate development for the American Water Works Service Co. as well as president of American Water Resource, both in New Jersey. He was also director and chief executive officer of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department in Michigan, director of operations for the Portland Water District, and chairman of the National Water Utility Association.

Gorden’s volunteer experience includes being a trustee of the Yarmouth Water District and serving on the Cumberland County Charter Commission.

He said he wanted to prioritize county issues to serve citizens in a better way, as well as expand multi-community links among public safety services. He also wanted to boost coordination at quasi-municipal, state and community levels, and to encourage diminishing of what he called duplicate structural costs.

Gorden said during a candidate forum last month that he envisioned the county level of government “as an entity upon which a community may call to accomplish what it considers the common, repetitive, heavy-lifting functions, freeing itself and you to maintain your distinct community culture and quality of life by performing those tasks and services which are uniquely yours.”

Grover, 56, is a software engineer for the DeLorme mapping company in Yarmouth.

He served on the Gray Town Council from 2008-2011 and was a representative from Gray to both the Greater Portland Council of Governments and the Central Corridors Coalition of area municipalities. He also served on the Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee, the Gray Public Library Board of Trustees and the Gray Comprehensive Plan Committee, and has volunteered with Gray Fire-Rescue.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.