Three candidates have qualified to run for one of two open Portland City Council seats on the November ballot, while only one candidate qualified for the second vacant seat before the city’s filing deadline Monday.
The races for Portland School Board also drew modest interest from potential candidates.
The winner in the three-way District 4 race will fill a seat held for the past 30 years by Cheryl Leeman, who has consistently been a more conservative voice on a council with a more liberal or progressive lean in recent years. Leeman said she decided to step down to spend more time with her family.
District 4 includes parts of Washington Avenue and the Deering, East Deering and Back Cove neighborhoods.
The three who successfully filed nominating papers and petition signatures are: Justin Costa, an accountant and current School Board member; Rosemary Mahoney, a field director at the Maine Education Association teachers union; and Raymond Ruby, unit director of the Portland Boys & Girls Club and a former Portland police officer.
On the other hand, voters in District 5 – encompassing the North Deering, Deering Center and Riverton neighborhoods – will have only one choice on the November ballot for City Council. David Brenerman, a former city councilor and state lawmaker, was the only person to be certified as a candidate in the race, according to the Portland City Clerk’s Office.
Unless Brenerman is defeated by a write-in candidate, he will replace Councilor John Coyne. Coyne said he decided against seeking a third term so he can spend more time with his family and concentrate on his career in the state Department of Corrections.
Staff in the clerk’s office were still working Monday to certify filings from some School Board candidates. However, relatively few people had taken out nomination paperwork.
Two candidates – Rebecca Wartell and Stephanie Hatzenbuehler – qualified to run for the District 4 School Board seat being vacated by Costa. Wartell is a downtown tour guide, caterer and artist while Hatzenbuehler is a clinical social worker.
Current School Board member Marnie Morrione was the only candidate to file to run in District 5.
Two candidates – John Eder and Gene Landry – were awaiting certification in the race to fill the one open at-large seat on the School Board. A third would-be candidate, Cheryl Miner of Peaks Island, withdrew from the race within the past week, according to the city clerk.
Council and School Board candidates running in specific districts had to submit between 75 and 150 valid signatures while candidates for at-large seats had to submit between 300 and 500 signatures. Two candidates filed paperwork to run for a pair of seats on the Peaks Island Council that have two-year terms. They are Timothy Wyant and Lisa Penalver. No one filed nomination papers to fill the two open seats on Peaks Island Council that carry three-year terms, however.