Mavodones re-elected to Portland Council, joined by Ray and Thibodeau

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PORTLAND — At-large City Councilor Nick Mavodones Jr. will return to office after a sweeping victory Tuesday.

Mavodones was elected to a seventh, three-year term, defeating challengers Dave Foster and Matthew Coffey. Mavodones received 9,754 votes, to Foster’s 3,153 and Coffey’s 2,476.

He will be joined on the council by newcomers Belinda Ray from District 1 and Spencer Thibodeau from District 2.

In District 1, Ray will replace Councilor Kevin Donoghue after defeating Brandon Mazer, Patrick Flynn, Sean Kerwin and Paula Guillemette-Agopian. Ray had 1,206 votes, Mazer 697, Flynn 570, Kerwin 354 and Guillemette-Agopian 230.

In District 2, Thibodeau will replace Councilor David Marshall. He beat challengers Wells Lyons and Robert Korobkin, getting 1,352 votes to 1,027 for Lyons and 938 for Korobkin.

Donoghue and Marshall each served three terms before deciding not to seek re-election this year. With their departures, five of eight City Council seats have turned over in the last three years. In 2014, Councilor Justin Costa replaced Cheryl Leeman in District 4 and Councilor David Brenerman replaced John Coyne in District 5 in 2014. Councilor Jon Hinck won his at-large seat in 2013.

Mavodones, 55, of 79 Chenery St., was unavailable for comment Tuesday. He was initially hesitant to seek re-election, declaring his candidacy about a week before the deadline to submit nomination papers in late August.

He announced his campaign the same day he endorsed former state Sen. Ethan Strimling’s run for mayor.

Ray, 45, of 65 East Oxford St., is a freelance writer and editor, and a co-founder of the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization. She said she won because of the basics: knocking on doors and collecting endorsements, including Donoghue’s.

“It feels a little unreal,” she said. “I think I have a steep learning curve, but I am looking forward to it.”

Thibodeau, 27, of 69 Pitt St., is an attorney with Verrill Dana. He credited getting an early start to his electoral success, having declared his candidacy last spring, before Marshall announced he would not run again.

“We started knocking on doors in May,” he said. “We hit more people more times.”

He said he will serve in the same style.

“I’m going to do what I did on the campaign, talk to as many people as humanly possible as i can and build relationships,” he said.

Mavodones was the only incumbent councilor running, and he spent the least money of any candidate seeking the three open council seats – not even enough to requiring filing spending reports with the City Clerk’s office.

Other races were not so inexpensive. Campaign finance reports filed Oct. 23 showed Mazer raised $15,300 and spent $13,140 in his race in District 1. At that date, no other candidate had raised $5,000.

In District 2, Thibodeau raised $15,800 by the same date, while spending $13,300. At that point, he had spent more than Korobkin and Lyons had raised.

District 1 encompasses the eastern portion of the city peninsula to High Street, and the Casco Bay Islands and a sliver of Back Cove. District 2 covers the West End of the peninsula, the Parkside neighborhood and a portion of neighborhoods near the University of Southern Maine.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.


Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.