A Brewer resident who introduced himself as a write-in school board candidate at a Monday candidates’ forum never filed the required paperwork to run, so votes for him won’t count.
Matthew Damon participated in a candidates’ forum Monday sponsored by the Brewer Education Association alongside the three school board candidates who will appear on the ballot: Troy Richardson, incumbent Cindy Small and Benjamin Umel.
But Damon, under Brewer’s election ordinance, was required to file paperwork with the city 60 days before the Nov. 3 election — which would have been early September — to become an official write-in candidate.
City Manager Steve Bost emailed Damon on Thursday morning to tell him that he is not qualified to run for school committee this year.
“The next steps really are up to the candidate,” Bost said. “He would probably want to notify his supporters that he is not a bona fide write-in candidate.”
Damon said the requirement that he submit paperwork to become an official write-in candidate for the school committee was “news to me.”
“The city clerk never told me I had to take out this paperwork when I spoke with her about my intention to run,” he said.
While Damon had taken out paperwork for a city council position, Bost said, he never filed it and did not ask the clerk if he needed paperwork to run for school committee.
“The candidate never came to the clerk’s office before he sort of self-declared himself as a write-in candidate,” he said. “Had he done so, we would have informed him of this.”
Damon said he had not yet told supporters that he is not an official write-in candidate in Tuesday’s election. He said he was first waiting to “get clarification.”
“If I get legal guidance that I can’t run, then I guess I won’t,” he said. “I think I have support because people want positivity in the community.”