December 18, 2017
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2 incumbents, 1 newcomer win in Portland council races

By Seth Koenig and Jake Bleiberg, BDN Staff
Updated:
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Portland City Councilor Jill Duson

PORTLAND, Maine — It was the incumbents’ night in Maine’s largest city.

Portland voters re-elected two incumbents City Councilors and voted in one newcomer who had received a nod from her predecessor Tuesday.

The council races were part of a busy municipal ballot. Voters here also considered two referendums related to school bonds, as well as a question on whether to impose rent controls in the city and another on whether neighbors of proposed development projects should be able to effectively veto those projects.

When it came to the City Council, Portlanders stuck with the incumbents, picking Jill Duson to keep her at-large seat after more than a decade on the council and tapping Justin Costa to return to the Council Chambers to represent District 4 for a second three-year term after two previous terms on the Portland Board of Public Education.

Joining them will be newcomer Kimberly Cook, who will replace David Brenerman as the District 5 city councilor. Brenerman did not seek re-election and endorsed Cook to replace him.

Duson claimed victory in a three-way race with 8,597 votes, or just less than 44 percent of the unofficial tally, followed by challenger Joey Brunelle, who came in with 5,894 votes, or nearly 30 percent. Bree LaCasse finished third with 5,182 votes, or just more than 26 percent.

In District 4, Costa enjoyed a comfortable win with 2,700 votes (68 percent) to challenger Kimberly Rich’s 1,277 (32 percent).

In Brenerman’s District 5, his chosen replacement, Cook, cruised in another three-way race with 2,462 votes (63 percent). She was chased by Marpheen Chan-Berry, with 872 (22 percent), and Craig Dorais, with 566 (15 percent).

The results will likely maintain the balance of power on the City Council, which this year saw a divide between Mayor Ethan Strimling and the other council members.

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