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Portland City Council election attracts several potential candidates

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Portland City Council election attracts several potential candidates

PORTLAND — With less than four months before voters elect three new city councilors, competition for the seats is heating up.

By Monday, nine potential candidates, including two incumbents, had obtained nomination petitions for the Nov. 5 City Council election, according to the city clerk.

Five candidates, including incumbent Councilor Jill Duson, of Pennell Avenue, have taken out papers for a four-year, at-large seat. The other candidates are Matthew Coffey, of India Street; Adam Marletta, of Grant Street; Christopher Shorr, of Harvard Street, and Gregory Smaha, of Phipps Road. None of the challengers have previously held elected office.

Last week, Marletta publicly announced his candidacy and then reportedly withdrew from the race a few days later. But on Monday, he said he was planning to run after all.

"There was some confusion back and forth ... I was just having some doubts about the campaign," he said. "But after a lot of encouragement, I feel like I should give this a try. I'm in it to win it."

Unlike the race for the four-year seat, a field of veteran political candidates is vying for the three-year, at-large seat being vacated by Councilor John Anton, who is not seeking re-election.

On Monday, three candidates had taken out nomination papers for the seat: Ralph Carmona, of North Street, who ran for mayor in 2011; Jon Hinck, of Pine Street, a three-term state representative who failed in a 2012 bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, and Wellington Lyons, of Danforth Street, who mounted an unsuccessful challenge last year for the at-large seat held by Councilor Nicholas Mavodones Jr.

In District 3, which covers a large swath of the city including the Libbytown, Nason's Corner and Stroudwater neighborhoods, incumbent Councilor Ed Suslovic, of Kenwood Street, has taken out papers for a second consecutive term. On Monday, no other candidates have obtained papers to contest that race.

Candidates for City Council must return nomination papers between Aug. 12 and Aug. 26. Candidates for at-large seats must have between 300 and 500 signatures; candidates for a district seat must return between 75 and 150 signatures.

The nomination forms are available from, and must be returned to, the city clerk's office.

Also on the November ballot will be races for three seats on the 12-member School Board, for a trustee of the Portland Water District, and for five of the seven seats on the Peaks Island Council.

Only one candidate had taken out nomination papers on Monday in those races: School Board member Laurie Davis, of Oakdale Street, who is seeking re-election in District 3.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.