Portland City Council, School Board openings attract potential candidates

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PORTLAND — Nomination papers are available for candidates to be on the ballot in the Nov. 4 city election.

Early interest suggests two City Council races, in District 4 and District 5, will be lively.

Councilors Cheryl Leeman, of District 4, and John Coyne, District 5, last month announced they will not seek re-election. So far, six candidates are interested in replacing them.

Also on the ballot will be School Board seats in Districts 4 and 5, an at-large School Board seat, and four seats on the Peaks Island Council.

Justin Costa, the sitting District 4 representative on the School Board, is one of four candidates who have taken out papers to replace Leeman. The others are Rosemary Mahoney of 49 Illsley St., Mark Reilly of 14 Olympia St., and Raymond Ruby of 181 Virginia St.

Rebecca Wartell, of 105 Front St., so far is the only candidate to take out papers for the District 4 School Board seat being vacated by Costa.

In District 5, former Councilor and Mayor David Brenerman, of 32 Overset Road, and Danny Hatt of 17 Summit St. are gathering signatures to run for Coyne’s seat.

The District 5 School Board seat is currently held by Marnie Morrione, and the at-large seat by Elizabeth Brooks. Morrione has taken out nomination papers to run again. Brooks announced in January she would not be seeking re-election and left the School Board in June, according to the Bangor Daily News.

District 4 covers the area from Back Cove to Stevens and Allen avenues. District 5 extends north and west of District 4, to the Westbrook border.

On the Peaks Island Council, two seats with three-year terms are currently held by Chris Alves and Jean Martens. No one had taken out nominating papers for those seats as of Monday. Timothy Wyant and Lisa Penlaver are incumbents for two seats with two-year terms, and both have taken out nominating papers to run again.

Nominating papers are available at the city clerk’s office, Room 203 in City Hall. Council and School Board candidates running in specific districts must obtain no fewer than 75 and no more than 150 signatures from registered voters in those districts.

At-large candidates must gather at least 300 and no more than 500 signatures from registered voters throughout in the city.

Peaks Island candidates must gather no fewer than 50 and no more than 100 signatures from registered voters who live on the island.

All signatures must be witnessed and the nominating petitions notarized. Nomination papers can be turned in no sooner than 9 a.m. Aug. 11 and no later than 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 25.

City elections are conducted without party affiliations. Write in candidates have until Sept. 22, 45 days before the election, to declare their candidacies.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. 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.