Anton, Duson and Skolnik win Council seats
Snyder and Caron join school board
By Chris Busby
John Anton and Dan Skolnik will soon be Portland City Councilors, and Councilor Jill Duson has won a third three-year term. Her fellow at-large Councilor and former mayor, Jim Cloutier, is out after nearly a decade at the center of Portland politics, earning less than a quarter of the vote to Anton’s 29-percent take and Duson’s close, second place finish.
Ben Meiklejohn is off the school board after having served two terms marred by controversy; he finished last in a five-way race for two at-large seats won by Kate Snyder and Jaimey Caron. Snyder won decisively, with 35 percent of the vote. Caron’s share was just over a fifth of the tally, and former City Councilor Orlando Delogu finished third.
Anton’s victory was secured by a solid majority of voters living on the peninsula and islands. His margin was slim in off-peninsula Districts 3 and 4, and he finished third behind the incumbents in District 5 (North Deering), where Duson, a North Deering resident, prevailed.
Anton won despite a last-minute barrage of negative campaigning by utilities lobbyist, lawyer, and major Democratic Party fundraiser Tony Buxton. In addition to signs linking Anton, a registered Green, with Meiklejohn, a prominent Green caught up in the school budget mess, Buxton sent a letter to off-peninsula residents just days ago denouncing Green candidates and officeholders.
“[T]hey have no right to embarrass Portland by foolish behavior and to damage our future by disrupting and then paralyzing the operation of the School Committee and the City Council,” read the letter, which was also singed by former Portland Mayor and Councilor Tom Kane, a fellow Dem, and carpenters union leader John Leavitt.
Anton said he received a flood of messages of support following the signs’ appearance, and credited Buxton’s smear campaign with part of his campaign’s success.
In other races, Gary Libby was reelected to the Portland Water District Board of Trustees, and the newly formed Peaks Island Advisory Council will include Mike Langella, Lynne Richard, Robert Hurley, Elizabeth Stout, Tom Bohan, Robert Tiffany, and Kathryn Moxhay. Four of the seven (Bohan, Langella, Richard and Tiffany) were active proponents of secession.
Voters statewide apparently rejected a bid by the Passamaquoddy Tribe to build a racino in Washington County. With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting, the measure was a couple percentage points short of passage. Portland voters rejected it by a similar margin.
Unofficial results indicate that the so-called “research and economic development” bond was approved by a nose, as was the bond for physical improvements at Maine community colleges and public universities. The land conservation bond was approved resoundingly, and the measure to extend state legislators’ term limit from four to six terms was resoundingly defeated.
Asked to expand the number of elected Commissioners running Cumberland County from three to seven, voters declined, according to results posted by the Portland Press Herald early this morning. Voters countywide approved borrowing nearly $3 million for an expansion of the medical facility at the jail and upgrades to emergency services technology, according to the same unofficial results. Portland voters joined the majority in answering all the state and county questions.