Tae Chong, a former school board member and a social services administrator, handily won a five-way race Tuesday for the District 3 seat on the Portland City Council.

Voters in the western part of Portland went to the polls Tuesday to choose a new city councilor and a new school board member.

Chong received 1,790 votes (43 percent), followed by Ed Suslovic, 1,050 votes (25 percent); Andrew Volk, 857 votes (21 percent); Andrew Graham, 256 votes (6 percent); and Lalah “Layla” Kargar, 199 votes (5 percent).

Chong, 50, is manager of social enterprise and workforce development for Catholic Charities Maine, a nonprofit that oversees the state’s refugee resettlement program. Through the years, he has served on the school board, was a founding member of Friends of Portland Adult Education, and helped immigrants and low-income people find jobs and start businesses.

In the race for the District 3 school board seat, Adam Burk won decisively against Samuel Rosenthal, 2,422-1,037 (70 percent).

Both the sitting councilor and sitting school board member representing District 3 decided not to seek re-election, opening up opportunities for some new faces. District 3 includes the neighborhoods of Libbytown, Stroudwater, Rosemont and Oakdale.

Councilor Brian Batson’s decision to step down prompted five candidates to seek that seat, including Graham, a prominent community leader, Suslovic, a former city councilor, Volk, a restaurant owner, and Kargar, business owner and magazine publisher.

The only other council seat up for election Tuesday was the at-large seat held by Pious Ali, and Ali sought re-election unopposed.

In the only contested school board race, the open District 3 seat attracted two political newcomers. The seat was up for grabs after Laurie Davis announced she wouldn’t seek re-election.

Burk, 39, is co-founder and executive director of the Treehouse Institute and former chief operating officer at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland’s first charter school. Rosenthal, 66, is a retired radar system engineer who volunteers at Portland High School.

In uncontested races, at-large member and board Chairman Roberto Rodriguez and at-large member Anna Trevorrow ran for re-election.

 


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