Portland’s five mayoral candidates will participate in a debate Tuesday hosted by the Portland Press Herald and the University of New England.

The candidates – Pious Ali, Justin Costa, Mark Dion, Dylan Pugh and Andrew Zarro – are vying to replace Mayor Kate Snyder, who is not seeking a second term in office.

The debate will take place Oct. 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at UNE’s Innovation Hall in Portland. The event will be livestreamed on the Press Herald’s website.

The event is free and open to the public; only a limited number of tickets are available. To register in advance, visit pressherald.com/mayoraldebate.

The event will be moderated by Press Herald reporters Grace Benninghoff and Rachel Ohm.

In-person absentee voting opened Tuesday on the second floor of City Hall and will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 2.


Absentee ballots were also sent out Tuesday. A ballot drop box will be set up at City Hall and the public works building at 212 Canco Road. Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.

Polling locations on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling location here; the ward number is the same as Portland’s council districts.

Ali was reelected to his third term on the City Council last fall. Dion and Zarro are nearing the end of their first terms on the council. Costa served on the council from 2014 to 2020. Pugh is a political newcomer.

The race will be decided using ranked-choice voting. It comes as the city is grappling with an unprecedented number of homeless people, recent influxes of asylum seekers and an affordable housing crisis.

This is the first year of Portland’s new clean elections program, which provides municipal campaign funding to qualifying candidates who choose to participate. The program was set up by the City Council this spring after voters approved its creation last November.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story