All eyes will be on the gubernatorial race this November, but count on some interesting contests at the local level, too.
District 4 City Council (East Deering, Back Cove)
The East Deering / Back Cove City Council seat is being vacated by long-time Councilor, and last Republican standing, Cheryl Leeman. With Leeman out of the picture, District 4 has gone from the “No one dares challenge Leeman” seat, to the most hotly contested race in the city.
Sitting District 4 School Board member Justin Costa will try to make the step over to City Council. Also running is Maine Education Association field director Rosemary Mahoney and former Portland police officer Raymond Ruby, who currently works for the Boys & Girls Club.
Despite being the youngest candidate, Costa has the most political experience, but he has yet to win a campaign against any opponent. Costa was first elected as a write-in candidate in 2008, and he ran for re-election in an unopposed race. This should be an interesting contest.
District 5 City Council (North Deering, Riverton, Deering Center)
John Coyne is vacating North Deering’s Distrcit 5 seat, but this open seat will not be the scene of any political excitement this year. David Brenerman, a former Mayor, City Councilor and three term State Representative, is the only candidate that managed to turn in the needed qualifying signatures. Welcome back to the Council, Mr. Brenerman.
School Board District 4 (East Deering, Back Cove)
Two candidates will compete for the District 4 School Board seat being vacated by Justin Costa. Stephanie Hatzenbuehler is a social worker, and Rebecca Wartell is a young activist and local artist. Let the race begin!
School Board District 5 (North Deering)
Incumbent Marnie Morrione is running unopposed.
At-large School Board (Citywide)
In what might be the only race to hold a candle to the District 4 City Council contest, John Eder is taking on Gene Landry for At-large School Board. John Eder was once the highest elected Green in the country, when he served as State Representative for the West End. Gene Landry ran unsuccessfully for At-large School Board in 2013, placing an anemic fifth out of six candidates.
Eder is a real threat for this seat, and that might scare local Democrats. The Green Independents currently have two members on School Board, West Ender Holly Seeliger and At-large member Anna Trevorrow. Will the Greens take another seat?
Peaks Island Council
Two candidates are running for two two-year term seats on the Peaks Island Council, Timothy Wyant and Lisa Penaiver. We wish you good luck on the Island Council, because apparently it is not an enviable job. No one took out papers for the two 3-year term seats that are available.