South Portland council draws 7 candidates, School Board just 1

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Seven candidates will compete for two City Council seats in the November election.

In contrast, there’s a dearth of candidates for School Board: only one person has filed nomination papers for one of two seats available on the Board of Education.

The deadline to file papers was Monday, Sept. 12.

Incumbent Councilor Maxine Beecher filed for one of the two at-large seats on the seven-member council.

Former City Councilor Michael Pock is also running for council. Pock was elected in a March 2013 special election to complete the term of former City Councilor Tom Coward. Pock served until November 2014, when he ran again for a full three-year term, but was ousted by Councilor Claude Morgan.

District 1 School Board member Richard Carter, of Thompson Street, is also on the ballot for one of the two council seats, along with former School Board member James Gilboy, of Barnstable Road; Katherine Lewis, of Mussey Street; Louis Maietta Jr., of Elderberry Drive, and Susan Henderson, of D Street.

Mayor Tom Blake, who has has served three consecutive terms – nine years – on the council, will be termed out in November.

District 2 School Board member Sara Goldberg also will not seek re-election. Otis Thompson, of Hillside Avenue, was the only candidate to file nomination papers for the three-year seat.

Because Carter decided not to seek re-election, and no one else filed papers, the District 1 seat will be offered to a write-in candidate who receives the most votes in the Nov. 8 election, City Clerk Emily Scully said Tuesday.

If the person who receives the majority of votes does not qualify or declines to serve, Scully said the appointment will fall to the City Council.

In addition, because District 5 School Board member Tappan Fitzgerald resigned Sept. 12, the task of finding a replacement to serve the rest of his term, which ends in November 2017, will also fall to the City Council. Blake said Tuesday that he expects the council to appoint someone before the November election.

Absentee ballots will be available around Oct. 11, according to Scully’s office. Absentee voting will be allowed through Thursday, Nov. 3.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA.

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.