Brewer voters elected two school committee veterans Tuesday in a typically low-profile race that saw some unusual developments this year.
Voters re-elected Cindy Small and chose Ben Umel, a former school board member, for two seats on the five-member Brewer School board. Small and Umel, who will serve three-year terms, received 2,939 and 2,126 votes respectively.
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They faced Troy Richardson, who received 1,467 votes.
The school committee oversees the Brewer School Department, which educates about 1,350 students.
The Bangor Daily News reported in October that Richardson had been fired from his job as a Hancock County Jail correctional officer for sexual harassment in 2016. He had been disciplined four other times during his 17-year tenure at the jail in Ellsworth.
A review of Richardson’s Facebook page showed he shared far-right memes ridiculing Black Lives Matter protesters, demeaning women and promoting conspiracies. In one, he wrote “Amen” when sharing a post that cast doubt on the veracity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Small and Umel also supposedly were facing a write-in candidate, Matthew Damon, who appeared at an Oct. 26 candidates’ forum with the three candidates on the ballot. However, Damon had not submitted the needed paperwork to register a write-in candidate, so votes for him were not counted.
At that candidates’ forum, Small said she would support a curriculum that included more perspectives of people of color and more closely examined the United States’ history of racial division. Umel and Richardson did not immediately commit to such changes to the curriculum without knowing specifics.
In addition to school committee members, Brewer voters also chose two members for the City Council. They chose incumbent Councilor Joe Ferris for a three-year term. Jenn Morin ran unopposed for a one-year council term, receiving 4,106 votes.
Ferris received 2,421 votes while Levasseur received 2,203.
BDN writer Nina Mahaleris contributed to this report.