Aria Eee is vying for Richard Donaldson’s seat on the Georgetown board of selectmen. Photo courtesy of Aria Eee

Political newcomer Aria Eee is challenging incumbent Richard Donaldson for his spot on the Georgetown board of selectmen.

Eee said she was pushed to run for political office when she thought about what the future of Georgetown holds for her son, now a kindergartener at Georgetown Central School.

In a letter to Georgetown residents, Eee wrote she will “bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm” to the position “that prioritizes collaboration, cooperative work and common sense.”

As a first-generation college student, she said she prioritizes education and called herself a “steadfast supporter of conservation efforts, broadband access and managed growth.”

“I know that it is important to maintain the benefits of our island life while also pursuing opportunities that will enhance our existing natural, marine, and people resources,” Eee wrote.

An adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, Eee said her experience in “fiscal management, administrative, and personnel concerns” make her well suited to be a selectman. If elected, she said she will help Georgetown plan for its future when doing everything from building an annual budget to making decisions that impact the community.

Richard Donaldson

“We should be thinking about where we want to be one year, three years, five years, 10 years from now,” she said. “I will ensure that we stay on track to achieve our stated goals. Working together and planning ahead allows us to advance those goals and address predictable challenges so we can better respond to meet the evolving needs of our community.”

Donaldson, who was elected to his selectman position unopposed in 2018, declined to speak with a reporter Monday.

Donaldson in 2018 ran unsuccessfully against Democrat Sen. Eloise Vitelli as a Republican to represent Senate District 23 in the Maine Legislature. During that campaign, several of his old Facebook posts were criticized by state Democrats for being racist and homophobic.

The posts included jokes featuring crude Mexican stereotypes, and the punchline of one post insinuated that members of a certain group of military personnel are gay. All of the posts were published on Donaldson’s private Facebook account in 2015 and 2016.

Donaldson, who retired as a lieutenant commander after 30 years in the Navy, admitted that the posts could be insensitive, but denied that they were racist or homophobic. He told The Times Record they were a byproduct of the sense of humor he developed in the military and were simply good-natured ribbing between friends.

“My private Facebook posts with my friends and family and my Navy buddies I expected would be private,” Donaldson said at the time, later noting his adult children were half-Asian.

Donaldson has been a Georgetown resident for about 30 years, and has experience as a firefighter.

Georgetown residents will also elect a town clerk, tax collector, treasurer, cemetery district trustee, and one person to serve on the school committee representative and town-owned property management board on Tuesday. Uncontested incumbents are running for re-election for each of those positions.

Residents will choose between the two candidates on Tuesday, June 15. Polls will be open from 1-8 p.m. at Georgetown Central School.


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