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2 candidates challenge incumbent Harpswell selectman

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2 candidates challenge incumbent Harpswell selectman

HARPSWELL — Selectman Alison Hawkes will be challenged by two opponents when she seeks re-election this March.

In contrast, after Wednesday's deadline passed for candidates to file nomination papers, there was only one candidate for two open seats on the School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors.

Voting takes place March 15 at Town Meeting.

One of Hawkes' challengers is C. Matthew Rich, who has run unsuccessfully three times for the Board of Selectmen. The private practice lawyer most recently lost to Rick Daniel last March.

The other candidate, Kevin Johnson, , is seeking office for the first time. A home-builder for 30 years and a former Bailey Island fire chief, he said it was the right time to get more involved.

Hawkes and Rich were not immediately available for comment.

Former SAD 75 board member David A. Johnson (no relation to Kevin Johnson) is the only candidate for the School Board. He filed papers just before the deadline, and said he only decided to run after no one else stepped up.

"No one was running out of the community," Johnson said, "so I just thought I would step in and run again."

The two seats are being vacated by Kay Ogrodnik and Jane D. Meisenbach, who decided not to seek re-election.

Johnson, a lobsterman who previously served on the School Board for 14 years, is vice chairman of the board of directors of Maine Region Ten Technical High School in Brunswick.

The other School Board position will have to be filled by a write-in candidate, or with an interim appointment made by the Board of Selectmen if no one ends up running.

SAD 75 Superintendent Brad Smith said he hopes the seat will be filled.

"The role of the board of public education is incredibly important," he said. "Those folks are creating the policy that guides the schools, sets the goals for schools, sets the level of budget and what kinds of programs are offered and not offered."

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.