Longtime Freeport Town Councilor Rich DeGrandpre’s bid for re-election in November is being challenged by other candidates’ supporters who say his nomination papers weren’t properly witnessed or notarized.

Council Chairman James Cassida collected voter signatures for DeGrandpre, a councilor-at-large, at a Sept. 11 memorial event, according to the challenge notice filed last Tuesday by Peter and Sandra Thompson of Freeport. The council held a special meeting Wednesday on the Thompsons’ allegations and will continue reviewing the matter at 6:30 tonight.

Cassida submitted a nomination petition for DeGrandpre that included two or three signatures that were signed while another person, Nancy Clark, was circulating the petition at the Sept. 11 event, according to the challenge notice. The petition falsely indicates that Cassida witnessed the contested signatures rather than Clark, Sandra Thompson said Monday.

Councilor Eric Pandora, who is seeking re-election to the District 2 seat, told the council what he saw and heard when Clark was collecting the contested signatures, according to council meeting minutes. Thompson said she circulated nomination petitions for Pandora and Marie Gunning, who is running against DeGrandpre.

In addition, Town Clerk Beverly Curry failed to notarize DeGrandpre’s nomination papers when he submitted them to her on Sept. 13, according to the challenge notice. Curry said Monday that it was an oversight on a busy day and that the papers have since been properly notarized, although after the Sept. 14 filing deadline.

Thompson, who works as a candidate registrar for the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, said she wants to make sure elections in her hometown are legal and proper. If the council allows DeGrandpre’s name on the ballot, she said she may file a lawsuit.

DeGrandpre, who has served three three-year terms, said he hopes the council resolves the issue tonight and moves on to more pressing concerns. If the council rejects his nomination papers, he said, he will consider running as a write-in candidate.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]