A new mayor will take office in Biddeford this fall for the first time in 12 years, but the lineup of city councilors will largely remain the same.

Martin Grohman and Susan Deschambault – both former state legislators who also have served as city councilors – are vying to replace Mayor Alan Casavant, who is not seeking reelection after six consecutive terms.

Martin Grohman

The Nov. 7 election comes as Biddeford continues to experience unprecedented growth and grapples with the impacts of the regional housing crisis. City officials have been working on ways to incentivize development of affordable housing and address homelessness, both issues that have become more pressing in the decade since the closure of the downtown trash incinerator that stymied economic growth for years.

In the decade since, Biddeford has undergone a revitalization that sparked hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments in the city. Old textile mills were repurposed for business and housing, dozens of new small businesses moved into the downtown, and a growing food scene attracted national attention.

Grohman, a sustainability consultant, currently represents Ward 3 on the City Council and is a member of the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force and the Climate Change Working Group. He was a state representative for two terms, from 2014 to 2018.

Grohman said he is in a position to lead the city and carry on Casavant’s legacy because of his background in business and passion for environmental sustainability.


“We have a really proud past and a great heritage and lots of opportunity ahead of us,” he said. “But we also have a lot of challenges.”

Grohman said he would take a collaborative approach to the “very pressing” issue of homelessness in Biddeford by working with other communities to develop solutions. He also wants to ensure that the city’s focus isn’t entirely on downtown, but also on the rural and coastal areas and the residential neighborhoods in between.

Susan Deschambault

“It’s about the whole community,” he said. “We risk losing that a little bit if we focus just on the latest high-profile project that’s downtown.”

Deschambault, who was a human services casework supervisor at the Maine State Correctional Center in Windham before retiring, is a former city councilor and current Planning Board member. She was a state senator from 2016 to 2022, when she stepped down because of term limits.

Deschambault said Biddeford has much to be proud of, but must also face its challenges head-on. Addressing housing affordability will be a top priority, she said, but she also wants to tackle public concerns about downtown parking and the city parking garage.

“Too many people simply can no longer afford to live here. It’s a challenge that will require us to seek regional cooperation, including resources from both the state and federal governments,” she said in her candidacy announcement. She did not respond to a call Wednesday asking to talk about her candidacy.


The entire City Council is also up for reelection. Six of the nine current councilors will run unopposed for another two-year term: William Emhiser, Ward 1; Scott Whiting, Ward 2; Bobby Mills, Ward 4; Julian Schlaver, Ward 5; Norman Belanger, Ward 6; and Liam LaFountain, Ward 7.

In Ward 3, recently retired Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre is running against Jason Litalien, who lost to Casavant in a close race in 2019.

At-large Councilors Doris Ortiz and Marc Lessard are each seeking another term. They are joined in the race by Gregg Shapiro, who moved to Biddeford two years ago.

Candidates for the seven open School Committee seats include incumbents Lisa Vadnais, Michele Landry, Randy Forcier, Rebecca Henry, Meagan Desjardins and Lauren Schuyler Giddings, as well as newcomers Andrew Chad Barrs, John McCurry Jr. and Marie Potvin. Current board member Amy Grohman, who is married to Martin Grohman, is not seeking another term.

Biddeford voters also will decide in November whether to approve the use of $9 million from the city’s general obligation bonds to build an addition to Biddeford Primary School.

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