South Portland City Council election: Morgan in, Smith, Fox out

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Only one city councilor whose term is expiring this year will be seeking re-election.

The seven-member City Council could have as many as three new councilors after the Nov. 7 election, while the School Board has four seats to fill. All offices are for three-year terms.

Nomination papers are available from the city clerk’s office, and must be returned between 8 a.m. Aug. 28 and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at City Hall, 25 Cottage Road.  

Councilor Claude Morgan, who was elected in 2014, Wednesday said he plans to run again. Morgan was mayor in 2007 while he served a previous, three-year term.

Also up for grabs are Mayor Patti Smith’s District 2 seat and Councilor Brad Fox’s District 5 seat.

Smith is not eligible to run for re-election due to term limits. The mayor will have served as a councilor for three consecutive three-year terms. 

Katherine White Lewis picked up nomination papers for the District 2 seat and has publicly announced her candidacy on Facebook. Lewis, director of development at Greater Portland Landmarks, ran unsuccessfully against at-large Councilor Maxine Beecher last year. 

Fox, who is completing his first council term,  said he decided to “take a year off to rest after my illnesses.” Among his health problems was a minor heart attack in December that resulted in bypass surgery.

He said he plans to “stay involved in other ways” and may eventually run for office again.

“I’m pleased that I was able to accomplish some good things on the council, especially bringing more recognition to our diverse West Side community,” Fox said. 

Adrian Dowling, a member of the city Planning Board, said he plans to seek the District 5 seat. 

On the School Board, two at-large seats held by Karen Callahan and Mary House, the District 4 seat held by Matthew Perkins, and the District 5 held by Elyse Thompson will be on the ballot.

Perkins, who was chosen by the City Council in February to fill a vacancy, said he plans to run and picked up the paperwork Monday morning. 

Callahan said she is not planning to seek re-election.

Candidates must submit at least 100 signatures from registered voters, but no more than 300. Voters may not sign for more than one candidate. The city website recommends that potential candidates turn in at least 130 to 150 signatures.

Also on the ballot are warden seats in District 3 and District 4, and warden clerk seats in District 4 and District 5. 

Candidates for City Council and School Board are elected by all registered voters in South Portland, although the elected officials represent different districts in the city. The exception is the offices of warden and ward clerks, which are elected by district.

The elections are also nonpartisan.

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

South Portland City Councilor Claude Morgan, left, is seeking re-election. Mayor Patti Smith and Councilor Brad Fox are not.