AUGUSTA — A run of resignations from the city council this summer means new faces — and contested races — will greet Augusta voters in November.

There will be two contested races, and eight candidates filed nomination papers to run for four council spots. Four candidates will fight for two at-large spots on the council, with the top two vote-getters taking the three-year terms, and the other two missing out.

Candidates seeking either of the two at-large spots are: Raegan LaRochelle, a consultant and leader of the local group Augusta First that encourages citizens to pursue municipal positions; Heather Pouliot, president of the Augusta Downtown Alliance; incumbent Mark O’Brien, a longtime councilor and former chairman of the Augusta Board of Education; and Martha Witham, who previously worked as superintendent for multiple area school systems.

One of the at-large spots has been vacant since former Councilor Corey Wilson resigned in July, because he moved out of Augusta. Wilson’s term was set to expire at the end of the year, meaning it would have been up for election in November even if he had not resigned.

The other highly sought-after spot up for election in November is a Ward 3 spot on the council left vacant in June when former Councilor Harold Elliott resigned because he was moving out of Augusta. Elliott’s position was also up for election in November.

Three candidates returned nomination papers seeking that position by last week’s deadline: Michael Michaud, Lisa Newell and Stanley Koski.

Michaud is the current Ward 3 representative on the Augusta Board of Education, Newell is president of Le Club Calumet in Augusta, and Koski is a former city councilor who, since leaving the council, has made multiple unsuccessful bids to return to the council.

Voters will also fill a vacancy on the council created when former Councilor Jennifer Day resigned from her at-large spot, which wasn’t due to expire until December 2020. Her seat will also be filled during the November election, but will be a special election to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. The winner of that seat will be sworn-in to fill the vacancy in November. The other candidates won’t take office until the start of the new year.

Former Councilor Darek Grant was the only candidate to return nomination papers to be on the November ballot to fill the remainder of Day’s term.

All races for the Augusta Board of Education are uncontested. Candidates for the school board, each of them incumbent members of the board, are Staci Fortunato (Ward 1), Jennifer Dumond (at-large) and Kati McCormick (Ward 4).


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