SACO — A former mayor and a former city councilor are running for mayor in the Nov. 8 municipal election.

City Clerk Michele Hughes said former Mayor Mark Johnston and former City Councilor Jeffrey Christenbury met Monday’s deadline for filing nomination papers.

Hughes said the incumbent mayor, Roland Michaud, has filed nomination papers for a seat on the Regional School Unit 23 board of directors.

And in an interesting twist, Hughes said, Johnston’s son and ex-wife are also candidates for city positions.

Nathan Johnston will challenge incumbent Marston D. Lovell for the Ward 7 council seat, and Mark Johnston’s former wife, Elizabeth Johnston, is one of four candidates for two seats on the RSU 23 school board.

Ward 7 has the only contested seat on the City Council.

Shirley Jones and Alan Smith are the other candidates for seats on the RSU 23 board.

Mark Johnston, 59, who owns a speciality market called Vic and Whit’s, has served six terms as mayor and one as a city councilor. He has been out of city government for four years.

“I came back because I miss it and I feel the city is looking for leadership during these difficult times,” Johnston said. “You can’t just roll over and play dead.”

Christenbury, a marketing associate for Thornton Academy and general manager of the school’s television station, resigned from his Ward 4 seat on the City Council earlier this year because he moved out of his ward.

Christenbury, 26, moved because he had a chance to buy his first home.

“I’m itching to get back into it,” he said. “For me, economic development is a huge issue. I’d like to make Saco ready for business when the economy turns around.”

The mayor’s term is two years. It is a largely ceremonial post, with the mayor voting to break tie votes by the council, presiding over council meetings and representing the city at public events.


Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]