Developer Hans Hansen posted a sign on his property on County Road reading “Let all the people of Maine decide.” The sign is in reference to Secretary of State Shenna Bellows declaring Donald Trump ineligible to appear on the Maine Republican primary ballot. Hansen says the sign is non-partisan. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Hartwell on Trump legal team

Former Gorham Town Council Chairperson Benjamin Hartwell is member of the legal team representing former President Donald Trump in his appeal to be on the state’s presidential Republican primary ballot in March.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has ruled Trump is ineligible as a candidate based on the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment for his connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection three years ago in the nation’s capital.


Hartwell did not comment on the case when contacted by the American Journal last week.

“We have generally been referring all commentary about the matter to the campaign, but I can tell you that my name was recommended by someone I worked with on Election Day last year,” Hartwell said in an email when asked how he  he came to be hired. “I volunteered to help the legal team at the GOP headquarters in Augusta.”

Hartwell, an attorney with the Law Offices of Bruce W. Hepler in Portland, is a Maine Army National Guard combat veteran who served in Iraq, spent nine years on the Gorham Town Council and owns the Sebago Lake Ranch in Gorham that produces beef cattle.

He is a member of the Maine Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and a former chapter president of the Maine Student Chapter of the Federalist Society.


Board, committee openings

The Town Council Appointments Committee is seeking citizen volunteers for various boards and committees to serve three-year terms.

Board and committee vacancies available include the Planning Board, Gorham Economic Development Corporation, Conservation Commission, Fair Hearing Board, Board of Appeals, Baxter Memorial Library Board of Trustees, Historical Preservation Commission, Fair Hearing Board, Board of Assessment Review, Revolving Loan Fund Committee and Board of Health.

To apply or learn more, go to the Town Clerk’s Office, contact or 222-1670, or submit a committee volunteer application at Applications are accepted through Jan. 26. The Appointments Committee will schedule short interviews with applicants starting in February and the Town Council will make appointments in March.

50 years ago

The American Journal reported on Jan. 9, 1974, that Lincoln Turner Jr. of Maryland had been a recent guest of his parents on Lawn Avenue.

U.S. taxpayer debt

The U.S. Treasury Department reported on Jan. 4 that the U.S. public debt was $34,006,270,930,685.56.

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