PORTLAND — The November election may still be four months away, but with nomination papers available, the races are officially underway.

On the ballot in the Nov. 5 election are the office of mayor, District 3 city councilor, city councilor at-large, District 3 School Board member, two at-large School Board seats and three seats on the Peaks Island Council.

Incumbent Mayor Ethan Strimling is seeking re-election to a second, four-year term and as of Monday morning, is being challenged by two city councilors, Justin Costa and Spencer Thibodeau. Kate Snyder, who served on the School Board from 2007-2013, and Thaddeus M. St. John have also taken out papers.

Councilor Belinda Ray had initially planned to run against Strimling, but decided against seeking the office last month.

City Councilor Pious Ali hopes to retain his at-large seat on the council, where he has served since 2016. So far, the only potential competition Ali has is from Raymondo Rezendes.

District 3 City Councilor Brian Batson announced in early June he was not seeking re-election after one term on the council.

“I am so grateful to have given three years to the people of this city. Now it is time for me to focus on my family, friends, loved ones and career,” Batson said at the June 3 City Council meeting. “I could not be more proud of my work and legacy. I am humbled by the positive feedback I’ve received from my constituents throughout my term. My hope is the people of this city will continue to appoint leaders who choose to be in it for the right reasons – leaders who are dedicated, selfless, thoughtful and apart from ego. I cannot thank Portland enough for believing in me.”

Four potential candidates have taken out papers to replace Batson, including Ed Suslovic, the candidate he defeated for the job. Suslovic previously served three terms on the council, including two as the District 3 representative. Tae Ching, Andrew Volk and Lalah Kargar have also taken out papers.

Two School Board incumbents with expiring terms this November are seeking re-election. Roberto Rodriguez, an at-large member who serves as board chairman, is hoping to get elected for a second term, and Anna Trevorrow, the board’s finance committee chairwoman, is also seeking another at-large term.

“In the last six years, I have become an experienced and effective voice among the board. That experience will prove useful in the next three years as the board faces dynamic issues and strives to fulfill the Portland Promise,” Trevorrow, a board member since 2013, said in a statement.

District 3 School Board member Laurie Davis has not taken out papers. If she does, she will have competition for her seat from Adam Burk and Samuel Rosenthal, who have already picked up papers.

The terms of Peaks Island Council Chairman Lisa Penalver and members Stuart Jackson and Michelle Winchester are all up this year. As of Monday, no candidates had taken out papers.

Nomination papers are available in the city clerk’s office and must be returned between Aug. 12 and Aug. 26.

To qualify for the district-specific City Council and School Board seats, individuals must submit between 75 and 100 signatures of registered voters. For the mayor, at-large council and at-large School Board positions, candidates must turn in between 300 and 500 signatures. Between 50 and 100 signatures are needed to qualify to run for the Peaks Island Council.


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