SOUTH PORTLAND — Newcomer Kate Bruzgo and incumbent Susan Henderson were elected in a five-way race to fill two at-large seats on the city council.

In other election results, incumbent Jennifer Kirk successfully defended her seat on the school board against a bid by Thomas Fournier.

Henderson received 2,316 votes and Bruzgo received 1,502 votes to come out on top against Margaret Brownlee, Richard Carter and Mary Drymon DeRose in the race for city council.

Bruzgo

Longtime councilor Maxine Beecher didn’t run for re-election. With the exception of 2013, when she took a year off, Beecher has served on the council since 2003.

Bruzgo, who came into the race with no political experience, said she is excited to get started and serve the community. She said she’s thankful for the residents who voted for her and hopes to gain the trust of residents who didn’t choose her as their top candidates in future elections.

“I want to make myself available to people to meet with them, and I hope I can earn the respect of all residents and exceed their expectations while on the council,” she said in an interview Nov. 7. “Thank you to the other candidates as well, it was a tough race and people worked hard and all the candidates have been kind and great to me throughout the process and I feel like it was a positive and supportive race.”

As a two-year member of the council who also served on several other city committees, Henderson said she is deeply committed to the community.

Henderson will continue to advocate for pedestrian-friendly roads and walkways, noting that the city has a huge issue with hurried and distracted drivers. As a retired nurse, she said, she has a lot of time to dedicate and tries her best to hear both sides of an issue before making a decision.

“I have the energy and health to do another term and I have a broad base of experience and knowledge to bring to the issues,” she said in an October interview. “To value collaboration is a strength too, in the concept of ‘doing no harm.’ I think that it would be good for the council to have someone who’s had one term like me.”

Henderson

Kirk, who was challenged by Fournier for her District 1 seat, was elected by a 2-1 margin by a vote of 2,463-1,201. District 1 includes Ferry Village, Lovett’s Field, Willard, and Breakwater.

Kirk said the community is really important to her, and, as a member of the School Board for the past three years, she’s been hands-on with the process and is excited to help the board continue with its forward momentum.

No one ran to fill a school board vacancy in District 2. However, Michael Faulkingham, of 74 N. Marriner St., had the highest number of write-in votes at 47 and will be asked to accept the position, according to City Clerk Emily Scully. The person with the next-highest number of write-in votes will be eligible if Faulkingham declines, although Scully did not disclose who that would be.

In the only other vacancy, Matthew Beck ran unopposed for a five-year term representing South Portland and Cape Elizabeth as trustee of the Portland Water District.

According to City Clerk Emily Scully, candidates for the school board and council will be sworn in at an inauguration ceremony on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

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