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Challengers upset incumbents in Scarborough Town Council, School Board elections; land bond OK'd

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Challengers upset incumbents in Scarborough Town Council, School Board elections; land bond OK'd

SCARBOROUGH — Challenger Jessica Holbrook upset incumbent Town
Councilor Richard Sullivan by 416 votes Tuesday to win one of two
council seats, 3,770 to 3,354.

Councilor Carol Rancourt received the most votes with 4,627 and will
retain her seat for a third, three-year term. Michael Hoglund, with
2,433 votes, rounded out the unofficial results.

In the race for three Board of Education seats, challenger Robert
Mitchell, with the second highest number of votes at 4,211, will return
to the board, a position he held from 2000 to 2006. Incumbent Jane
Wiseman edged out incumbent Annalee Rosenblatt by just 45 votes, 4,080
to 4,035 to earn a second term. The top vote getter, incumbent
Jacquelyn Perry, with 4,385 votes, will add to her 20 years total board
experience with another three-year term.

A local referendum question that would allow the town to borrow up
to $1 million for the purchase of conservation land passed easily,
5,844 to 2,800.

Voting was brisk in Scarborough, with 9,110 of 14,671 registered voters, or 62 percent, participating.

When she heard the results, Holbrook said she was having trouble putting her thoughts into words.

"I'm really excited," she said. "It's very heart-touching how so
many people really supported me. I tried to be real honest with people
and tell people how I think and how I feel and that got heard a little
bit. It's a great honor."

Rancourt said she was "very pleased" to be re-elected.

"I thank the voters of Scarborough for giving me one more term," she said.

Though she said she was "surprised" that not all the Town Council
and Board of Education incumbents were re-elected, she said she's "kind
of excited to have a young woman on the council."

"(Holbrook is) an unknown, she'll be her own person, learn a lot and be her own voice," Rancourt said.

Sullivan said he "wasn't that surprised" at the outcome because of "attacks" against him by Pine Point residents.

Sullivan was considered the swing vote in a council decision to trade town-owned land at Pine Point with a strip owned by the Lighthouse Motel. He was frequently criticized by members of the Pine Point Residents Association for his decision to change his position and vote in favor of the swap.

But Sullivan said Wednesday he didn't think the Pine Point factor was the only reason he lost. He speculated that the opportunity to elect another woman to the council might have made a difference to voters who accused the council of being divided along gender lines.

Or, "Maybe I was too conservative in my council decisions," he said. "It's really hard to say."

Sullivan said he does intend to run again and, in the meantime, will keep his eye on town spending.

"I don't want to see the budget climb," he said. "I think Jessica (Holbrook) will be very liberal and the town's in for some tax increases and I probably will be speaking at council meetings that concern the budget."

Perry said she was looking forward to serving another term on the
School Board, but acknowledged the economic challenges would make it a
difficult time. She said she was pleased Mitchell would be back on the
board because of his "fine, financial mind" and the way he clearly
explains details to both the board and to the public.

"He and I don't always agree," Perry said, "but we debate the issues and he is wonderful to work with."

Saying it will be "a lot of work," Mitchell said he was pleased to be elected to the school board.

"It's going to be a challenging time, not only this year but next
year," he said. "I look forward to the challenge; I hope the board will
work well with the council."

And Wiseman said she was excited to know she would be serving another three years.

"I truly enjoy serving on the board," she said. "I look forward to
continuing the policy work and working with Bob (Mitchell) and Jackie
(Perry). It will be an interesting three years."

Rosenblatt said she had worked hard as a school board member and worked hard to be re-elected. "I thought I did what I had to do but I came up short," she said.

She said she is unsure if she'll run again, but will continue to serve the town as chairwoman of the Charter Commission.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.