Leeman in a landslide in Portland City Council District 4

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PORTLAND — Incumbent City Councilor Cheryl Leeman on Tuesday proved why only one person in the last five elections has challenged her for the District 4 seat.

Leeman dispatched of challenger Ezekiel Callanan by a more than 2-1 margin, 2,771 to 1,124, earning another three-year term on the council.

Incumbent Councilor John Coyne won a second term in an uncontested race in District 5.

Leeman said she was surprised by the margin of victory, noting she received about 58 percent of the vote in her last contested election.

“I am absolutely pleased to see the voters of my district continue to support me,” she said.

Callanan, a political neophyte, appeared to be outmatched from the start, taking on a 27-year council veteran with deep political ties.

Only the second person to challenge Leeman in the last five elections, the 30-year-old Democrat challenged the council’s only Republican, who has spent the last 17 years as U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s regional representative.

Callanan said on Tuesday he was not surprised that he lost, but hoped the margin would have been closer.

“It was a really great experience and I hope to stay involved,” he said. “I think it was important there was a challenger.”

As of 11 days before the election, Callanan had only raised $375 from six donors, while receiving a $650 loan and $425 in in-kind contributions.

Leeman, meanwhile, had raised more than $8,000 from about 50 donors, with more than $4,800 on hand in the final weeks of the election.

While Callanan said his candidacy offered “fresh blood” on the council, Leeman said her leadership, experience and knowledge of the inner workings of City Hall best positioned her to serve District 4.

Apparently, voters agreed.

“(At the polls) people reminded of the little things that mattered that I helped them with,” she said.

Peaks Island Council

Mary Anne Mitchell was elected to finish a one-year term on the Peaks Island Council

Mitchell, 66, was the only candidate on the ballot. She received 354 votes.

But three others declared write-in candidacies: Central Avenue resident Michael Sylvester for a two-year term; Brackett Avenue resident Richard Machlin for a one-year term, and Sterling Avenue resident Scott Kelley for a three-year term.

City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the write-in results would not be available until sometime Wednesday.

Mitchell works with the mentally ill as an employment specialist in Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services. She moved to the island in 1987.

A member of the Peaks Environmental Action Team, Mitchell said she campaigned on environmental issues and building a better working relationship with the city, she said.

The PIC grew out of an unsuccessful bid for island secession in 2007.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @randybillings

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