HAMPDEN, Maine — Political activism is alive and well in Hampden, as eight candidates are running for three open spots on the Hampden Town Council and another three are vying for two seats on the SAD 22 school committee.
Those competing for three council positions include one incumbent, one former councilor seeking a second term after losing a re-election bid last year and six challengers.
The three school committee candidates are incumbent Richard Moore and newcomers Jacob Burns and Jessica Scott.
The lone council incumbent is Shelby Wright, Bill Shakespeare is seeking a return after a year away, and the challengers are Mark Cormier, James Davitt, Carol Duprey, Kelley Paul, Dave Ryder and Greg Sirois.
A single mother with one daughter, Wright is busy as a community outreach coordinator, grant writer, community volunteer and active Maine Democratic Party participant. Wright hopes to continue to bring her balanced, common-sense approach to a second three-year term.
Shakespeare has raised his family in Hampden and operates a small electrical service business. He believes in keeping the town’s mill rate as low as possible while also maintaining needed services.
Cormier is a Hampden native and lifelong resident who lists individual property rights and constitutional processes and ideals as priorities. This would be his first council term. He is concerned with the vision and direction of the current town council.
Davitt is a Georgetown College and law school alumnus and Vietnam veteran. He was an attorney in Washington, D.C., before moving to Hampden in 1991. He ran a small business in Bangor and is now associate professor of justice studies at Bangor’s University of Maine-Augusta campus. He cites education, property taxes and and business expansion as priorities.
Duprey’s husband Brian served as a Hampden councilor and Maine Legislature representative. She is a 10-year U.S. Navy veteran, small-business owner and mother of five. She believes in constitutional tradition, limited government, low taxes and private property rights.
Paul is a licensed speech-language pathologist. After earning her master’s degree from the University of Maine, she came to live in Hampden, where she and her husband and daughter have lived for 10 years. She is a passionate supporter of the U.S. Constitution and believes personal liberties, especially property rights, are being eroded.
Ryder and wife Melissa have four children and two grandchildren. The Meadow Road resident is a fifth-generation Hampden native and owner of a pumpkin and strawberry farm and has been a volunteer for Little League and 4-H.
Sirois is a Caribou native who has lived in Hampden for 15 years with his wife and three sons. The U.S. Army veteran spent 23 years in the banking industry as a manager or executive with Fleet, MBNA, Bank of America and Camden Bank.
Burns, who turns 19 just before Election Day, is running for the school board five months after graduating from Hampden Academy. Burns also attended school at the Smith and Wagner schools. He values helping students be more proactive in schooling and fair teacher contracts.
Moore lives in Hampden with wife Lucienne and three children, all of whom attended Hampden schools. Jacob and Whitney are both in college while Conar is a Hampden Academy freshman. He calls his top priority the students and providing the best education possible for them all.
Scott and husband Andrew have two daughters who are students at McGraw School. She is completing her master’s degree in education and secondary life and physical sciences. She lists meeting the needs of students while balancing fiscal responsibility as her priorities.
John Quesnel is running unopposed for a five-year term on the Hampden Water District’s board of trustees. He moved to Maine in 2001 and has one daughter with wife Bonnie. He has a master’s degree in business management from Albertus Magnus College and more than 25 years’ banking experience. He is now the vice-president business banker at People’s United Bank in Bangor and has been a district trustee for more than six years.
An earlier version of this story contained an error. Dave Ryder, not William Ryder, is running for Hampden city council.