South Portland voters pick Beecher, Henderson for City Council

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Voters re-elected City Councilor Maxine Beecher Tuesday and elected first-time candidate Susan Henderson in a seven-person race for two seats on the City Council,

Otis Thompson earned 10,494 votes for the uncontested District 2 Board of Education seat, and write-in candidate Jennifer Kirk received the majority of votes for the otherwise uncontested District 1 School Board seat.

In the council race, Beecher tallied 5,200 votes and Henderson received 4,439 votes – a slim margin over third-place finisher Katherine “Kate” Lewis, who earned 4,381 votes. Louis Maietta Jr. came in fourth with 3,157 votes; Richard Carter garnered 2,066 votes; James Gilboy had 1,947 votes, and Michael Pock finished with 1,388.

Of South Portland’s 19,941 registered voters15,079 residents – or 75.6 percent – cast ballots in the Nov. 8 election, according to City Clerk Emily Carrington.

This will be Beecher’s second consecutive three-year term on the council, and fifth term overall; she has served on the council for 12 years.

She ran her campaign on an environmental platform and also as a candidate who wants to continue pushing the city to embrace sustainability.

As a beekeeper, Beecher supported banning synthetic pesticides earlier this summer, and was in favor of the taking a closer look at preserving open space around the city.

She has also said she would like to see the city create more of an outreach and support system for senior citizens.

Beecher said on Wednesday morning that she was very “pleased” to have been re-elected.

“For one, I’m pleased that the people must have thought I’ve done a pretty good job,” she said. “My whole wish is that I can live up to the expectations that the people have placed on me,” she said.

Overall, Beecher said, “I’d like to see the council work better together in some cases than it has (in the past).”

Henderson, who could not be reached Wednesday morning, ran a campaign that outlined affordable housing, sustainability and the environment, along with growing the economy as the three biggest issues facing the city.

Henderson previously said the city needs to find a balance between expanding the tax base while also preserving open space and ensuring a variety of housing options continue to be accessible for residents of all socio-economic levels.

A retired nurse and professor, Henderson is a Knightville resident and has lived in South Portland for nearly 40 years.

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

The line to deposit ballots cris-crosses the gym floor at the South Portland Community Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Beecher

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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.