Four candidates – two incumbents and two seeking public office for the first time – are running for two open seats on the Durham Board of Selectmen.

The municipal elections take place on Friday, April 1, at Durham Community School. Polls will be open from 8 a.m-8 p.m. The annual town meeting, also at the school, begins at 7:45 a.m. on April 2.

Chairman Jeff Wakeman and Mark Blake are defending their seats on the Board of Selectmen. Wade Caplinger, who works at Bath Iron Works, and business owner Max Harvey Garcia are the political newcomers.

Also on the April 1 ballot, Michelle Ritcheson is unchallenged for her position on the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors. Ritcheson is the board chairwoman. Kevin Nadeau also faces no opposition as he runs for another term on the Budget Committee.

All positions are for three-year terms.

Caplinger, 40, moved to Durham from Arkansas late last year. He is a procurement manager at BIW.

“I wanted to get involved, as much as possible,” Caplinger said. “I loved going door to door to get signatures. I learned from meeting people that they want things to be simple and understandable. You just have to break things down and get all the weeds out of the way and tell people exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”

Caplinger and his wife, Juliet, have two children in the Regional School Unit 5 system.

Garcia, 35, owns Harvey Metals of Lisbon Falls, which purchases scrap metal. He also runs Allen Properties, a property holding business. He grew up in the western Maine town of Hartford, where his father served on the Planning Board. He and his wife Kimberly Allen, who have four children, have lived in Durham for four years.

“I grew up right next to the Town Office in Hartford, and I’ve been to a lot of meetings, so I have some familiarity with the process,” he said. “As a business person, I think I can have a positive influence on the board. I got support for that perspective of common sense when I was out gathering signatures.”

Neither Wakeman nor Blake responded to calls for comment.

Also on the ballot will be the question of whether residents want to pursue the process of withdrawing from RSU 5.

Polls at Durham Community School will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, April 1, for the Durham municipal elections.


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