First-time candidate scores upset win in South Portland council race

Posted March 13, 2013, at 12:48 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A close race produced a big upset Tuesday in City Council District 1, where political neophyte Michael Pock defeated three other candidates in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Tom Coward.

Results released by City Clerk Susan Mooney after the polls closed showed Pock defeated current School Board Chairman Rick Carter by two votes, 180-178. Energy and Recycling Committee member Robert C. Foster III finished third with 139 votes, and Planning Board member Rob Schreiber got 111 votes.

Pock, 66, was making his first run for elected office and pledged he will not support any property tax increases. The 40-year resident of the city is a carpenter and handyman.

Coward resigned last Dec. 31 after winning election as a the Cumberland County commissioner. His uncompleted term runs through November 2014.

District 1 covers the northeast section of the city, including Willard Square and Ferry Village, but the election was open to all city voters.