BANGOR, Maine — Voters elected two newcomers to fill a pair of seats on the Bangor City Council and re-elected the council’s current chairman on Tuesday.
Josh Plourde, the top vote-getter, is a 22-year-old creative strategist at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and a member of Bangor’s Commission on Cultural Development. Plourde and Gibran Graham, a board member of the Downtown Bangor Partnership and marketing coordinator at the downtown book and toy store Briar Patch, were voted onto the council. Incumbent City Council Chairman Nelson Durgin was re-elected.
Unofficial results indicate 4,068 Bangor voters cast ballots. Plourde drew 2,275 votes; Durgin 2,220; and Graham 1,827.
“I’m really pleased,” Plourde said in a phone interview while standing outside Nocturnem in downtown Bangor, where family and friends had gathered to celebrate. “I did a lot of hitting the pavement and going door-to-door.”
He said he was pleased with the support he received and the fact that he drew the highest number of votes showed people were “receptive to what I had to say.”
He said his first steps would be to get acquainted with city departments and learn more about how things run. He hopes Bangor will be his base for years to come, as he works on UMaine’s floating wind turbine project.
“There’s a really steep learning curve for any new councilor,” Plourde said.
Durgin, who was thinking about calling it a night around 10 p.m. after Tuesday’s election, said he was happy to learn of his re-election. He said he was looking forward to working with newcomers to the council and helping them get acclimated. He said there will be an orientation meeting Thursday night for new members.
Messages left for Graham were not immediately returned Tuesday night.
Six candidates were running for three available seats on the council this election. One of the seats was vacated by Councilor Susan Hawes, who termed out this election and ran for school committee. Current Councilor Charlie Longo came up short in his re-election bid, drawing 220 votes fewer than Graham.
Hal Wheeler, a former city councilor who served from 1983 through 1986 and again from 2007 to 2010, received 1,155 votes, while Victor Kraft, a Bangor-based private investigator and former Maine police chief, drew 560 votes.
Hawes won one of two seats on Bangor School Committee. She drew 2,060 votes to Jay Ye’s 1,982. Ye, an incumbent, will join the committee again after beating out Sue Sorg, an 18-year adapted physical education specialist in the Bangor School Department who also has led local Special Olympics programs, by just 100 votes. They were the only three candidates running for a pair of committee seats. One seat currently is held by Ye and the other was vacated by former committee member Kate Dickerson when she resigned in October 2012.
Bangor voters also heavily supported the revised school budget, 3,221 in favor, 786 against.
Those voters also were in a spending mood, approving all five statewide bond measures.