Gwendolyn Sherman, 8, twirls around in her mother’s coat while waiting for her to finish voting at Biddeford High School on Tuesday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Biddeford voters elected the city’s first new mayor in 12 years.

Martin “Marty” Grohman won the seat over Susan Deschambault, a former state senator, by a vote of 2,894 to 2,223. The seat has been held for six consecutive terms by Mayor Alan Casavant.

Martin Grohman

The election Tuesday came at a critical time in the city’s revitalization as officials develop plans for the future and deal with challenges from the regional housing crisis.

Grohman, a sustainability consultant, currently represents Ward 3 on the City Council and previously was a state representative. He 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. Casavant endorsed Grohman.

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.

The entire City Council also was up for election, but six incumbent councilors ran unopposed for another two-year term. Those incumbents are William Emhiser, Ward 1; Scott Whiting, Ward 2; Bobby Mills, Ward 3; Julian Schlaver, Ward 5; Norman Belanger, Ward 6; and Liam LaFountain, Ward 7.


Roger Beaupre, the recently retired Biddeford police chief, won the Ward 3 council seat against Jason Litalien by a vote of 481 to 417.

At-large Councilors Doris Ortiz (2,384 votes) and Marc Lessard (3,021 votes) each won another term. Gregg Shapiro, who moved to Biddeford two years ago, received 1,736 votes.

Seven school committee candidates were elected: Lisa Vadnais (3,374 votes), Marie Potvin (3,043 votes), Michele Landry (2,706 votes), Meagan Desjardins (2,670 votes), Randy Forcier (2,637 votes), Rebecca Henry (2,571 votes) and John McCurry Jr. (1,969 votes).

Biddeford residents also voted 3,253 to 1,581 in favor of using $9 million from the city’s general obligation bonds to build an addition to Biddeford Primary School.

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