South Portland council vacancy attracts potential candidates

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Former District 1 City Councilor Tom Coward was elected twice without facing an opponent.

But after Coward resigned to become a Cumberland County commissioner, the field of candidates for the remaining 20 months of his second term may be crowded.

Four people have taken out nomination papers from the city clerk’s office: School Board Chairman Richard Carter, Planning Board Chairman Rob Schreiber, Energy & Recycling Committee member Robert A. Foster III, and self-employed carpenter Michael Pock.

Potential candidates must gather at least 100 signatures from registered voters, and voters may sign only one candidate’s petition.

The deadline for candidates to return petitions to the city clerk’s office is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The special election to fill the District 1 council vacancy will be March 12, with voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Center.

District 1 covers eastern portions of the city, including Willard Beach and Ferry Village.

Coward was elected to the county commission in November. He resigned from the council Dec. 31 and was sworn in to the new post on Jan. 14.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or 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.