Write-in candidates join Yarmouth council race

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YARMOUTH — Write-in candidates are emerging after the April 26 deadline to submit nomination papers passed with only one Town Council candidate submitting papers to be on the June 8 ballot.

Steve Woods was the only resident to return papers for one of the two available Town Council seats. The seats will be vacated by Council Chairman Mark Hough, who has served two, three-year terms, and Councilor Kent Petersen, who served the remaining year and a half of a seat vacated when Mark Sullivan moved out of town. Peterson was eligible to run again, but did not take out papers.

Now, town officials said a few residents may be interested in serving on the council and have come forward to throw their names in the hat, after the fact.

One of them, Tim Sanders, 61, lives on Lafayette Street. He ran in the last municipal election for the seat that was vacated when Sullivan resigned, and came in second behind Peterson.

He said he is a life-long resident of Yarmouth, and is still interested in town government.

“I am concerned about things in town and statewide, and want to be involved,” Sanders said. “I want to run again and offer my time.”

Sanders is a project manager at Reed & Reed General Contractors in Woolwich, and served on the town’s Parks and Land Commission.

Another declared write-in candidate is Randall Bates of Tannery Lane. He said he was shocked and embarrassed when he discovered Woods was the only resident to return nomination papers for the council seat.

As an attorney at Strike, Goodwin and O’Brien in Portland, he said his experience as a negotiator will benefit the council. He has been a resident of Yarmouth for six years.

Bates is 42, married and has two children in Yarmouth schools. He coaches soccer, baseball and basketball.

“A lot of the parents and coaches I am around have many of the same constraints, but I realized now is a good time to start making the time,” he said. “I was planning on being more involved in the future, but it looks like the chance to so is now.”

Town Clerk Jennifer Doten said there is no minimum number of votes required for a write-in candidate to be elected. She said the names do not have to be spelled correctly, as long as she can determine a voter’s intent.

Doten said she will contact the person who receives the most write-in votes by the day after the election and ask if they accept the position. She said they have five days to decide. If the winning write-in candidate has not decided by the council meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 10, Doten said a special meeting may be held Monday, June 14 to swear in the new councilors.

In the only contested municipal race, Sligo Road resident Patricia Ramsay is challenging incumbent William Reinsborough for a spot on the Water District Board of Trustees. School Board incumbents Abigail Diggins and Art Bell are running unopposed for re-election.

Voting will take place at the AMVETS Hall on North Road from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8.

Amy Anderson can be reached at781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net