The four candidates to succeed Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton will debate Thursday evening.

The competitive field includes a U.S. Army veteran, a Westbrook City Council incumbent, the founder of a local nonprofit and a downtown business owner. A housing boom in Westbrook has emerged as a top issue in the race, but the candidates have also named spending and downtown revitalization among their priorities.

Jason Jerrier, 44, of Wilson Drive, spent 21 years in the Army and has lived in Westbrook for 11 years. He is on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate and has not sought public office before.

Michael Sanphy, 69, of Temple Street, is retired from his career in the Westbrook police and fire departments. A Democrat, he has represented Ward 5 on the City Council since 2011.

Michael Shaughnessy, 58, of Conant Street, recently moved to Westbrook but has long been involved with the nonprofit Friends of the Presumpscot River. Also a Democrat, he previously served one term on the Windham Town Council.

James Tranchemontagne, 42, of Duck Pond Road, owns the Frog & Turtle restaurant in Westbrook. An unaffiliated candidate, he has never held public office but lost an earlier bid for mayor to Hilton.

Hilton announced in August she would not seek a fourth term, citing her work and her family as part of her decision. Hilton is the president and CEO of VNA Home Health Hospice and Eastern Maine Home Care. When she was first elected in 2009, Hilton became Westbrook’s first female mayor.

Hosted by the Westbrook/Gorham Chamber of Commerce, the debate will begin at 7 p.m. at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. It is free and open to the public, and it will also be televised live on Westbrook Community TV channels 2 and 3.


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