AUGUSTA — Three potential candidates have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor, including a former mayor and a current city councilor.

Former Mayor William E. Dowling took out papers to potentially run for the mayor’s post Thursday, joining At-Large Councilor David Rollins, who previously announced his intention to run and took out papers Aug. 8, the first day they were available. Political newcomer J.J. Bloomquist also took out nomination papers. Dowling, mayor from 1999 to 2006 and a city councilor in Ward 2 from 1995 to 1998, said he is contemplating a run for mayor but hasn’t made a final decision yet.

The 66-year-old Dowling, director of development for Hallowell-based Dirigo Capital Advisors, said he took out papers to run for mayor because he thinks “mayor races should have some competition.”

Rollins has been on the council since 2007 and is currently serving his third term. He served as interim mayor for a few months in 2011 when Roger Katz was elected to the state Senate and vacated the mayor’s seat.

The 59-year-old real estate appraiser with his own small business announced he planned to run for mayor in June, and said Friday he is glad other candidates have since at least taken out nomination papers to run.

“I think voters of the city of Augusta deserve a choice, an election where there is more than one candidate,” Rollins said.

Bloomquist, according to City Clerk Barbara Wardwell, took out nomination papers Aug. 8. She could not be reached for comment Friday. Wardwell said she left no contact information other than her State Street address.

The mayor’s position will be up for election in November.

Ward 4 Councilor Mark O’Brien was recently selected by his fellow councilors as interim mayor until the election.

The winning candidate will serve out the remaining year on former Mayor William Stokes’ term. Stokes, a registered Democrat who was formerly a deputy attorney general, resigned as mayor last month when he was appointed as a new state superior court justice. Stokes was first elected mayor of Augusta in 2012, to finish off the term of Roger Katz, who stepped down as mayor after he was elected to the state Senate. Stokes was elected to his second mayoral term last year.

Mayoral candidates must obtain the signatures of at least 200 registered Augusta voters. Nomination papers for mayor are due by Sept. 5.

Nomination papers for council and school board are due at Augusta City Center by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 19.

Several candidates for council and school board have already submitted nomination papers to run. They include: Linda Conti, a member of the Planning Board, and Mary Mayo-Wescott, a former city councilor, for the Ward 1 council seat being vacated by Michael Byron. Stanley Koski, a former councilor, has also taken out papers for the Ward 1 council seat, but had not returned them by Friday.

Anna Blodgett, a former Democratic state representative, has returned papers to run for the Ward 4 council seat being vacated by Mark O’Brien. And Julie O’Brien, a former Republican state representative and wife of Mark O’Brien, has also taken out nomination papers for Ward 4 but, as of Friday, had not yet returned them, Wardwell said.

Incumbent At-Large Councilor Jeffrey Bilodeau, so far the only candidate for that seat, has returned his nomination papers.

So far there are no contested races for school board. Candidates who have taken out papers to run are; Jennifer Neumeyer for an at-large seat; Kimberly Martin, a current at-large member of the board, for chairwoman; and incumbent Deborah Towle, for Ward 2.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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