Ex-councilor enters race for Portland City Council seat

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A well-known former city councilor and state representative is attempting a political comeback as a candidate for the Portland City Council District 2 seat. 

Jon Hinck, who served as an at-large councilor for one term before losing to Pious Ali in 2016, qualified for the Nov. 2 ballot after a weekend of gathering petition signatures.

His only opponent in District 2 is Victoria Pelletier.

Jon Hinck

Hinck, who also unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2012, said he made a quick decision to run for the council again, took out nomination papers on a Friday, and returned them the following Monday.

“I’m running to help the awesome city of Portland reach its full potential in the face of old and new challenges,” Hinck said. “I’d like to see the city government do what it can to help make life better for all its residents, everyone who calls Portland home.”

Hinck said “just and equitable health, housing and transportation” and climate policies are issues he sees as priorities.

Monday, Aug. 23, was the deadline for candidates to return nomination papers to City Hall. Barring any lingering issues with signature verification, the contests for three City Council and three School Board seats have been set.

The races likely to draw the most interest will be the at-large and District 1 seats on the council.

The at-large election includes School Board member and former Chair Roberto Rodriguez, Planning Board Chairman Brandon Mazer, former mayoral candidate Travis Curran, and Stuart Tisdale, who is an attorney and Cheverus High School teacher. Tisdale turned in his papers Monday and was not officially qualified as of Tuesday morning.

The District 1 election pits School Board member and former Chair Anna Trevorrow against Bayside Neighborhood Association President Sarah Michniewicz, and David Aceto, a co-owner of the Arcadia National Bar on Congress Street. Like Tisdale, Aceto turned in his papers Monday and was not listed as officially qualified early Tuesday. 

Two other individuals took out papers but did not return them: Spencer Rust and Mark Foster.

The incumbents in all three council elections opted not to seek reelection: Councilor Belinda Ray in District 1, Councilor Spencer Thibodeau in District 2, and at-large Councilor Nick Mavodones.

District 1 represents the city’s Bayside and Parkside neighborhoods; District 2 represents the West End.

The only School Board race that will be contested is an at-large seat. Incumbent and former board Chair Sarah Thompson will look to keep her seat against challenger Nyalat Biliew, who unsuccessfully ran for School Board last fall.

In District 1, Abusana “Micky” Bondo will be unchallenged, and School Board Chair Emily Figdor is unchallenged in District 2.

The City Council and School Board seats are all three-year terms.

Only Charles Shattuck-Heidorn will be on the ballot for a five-year seat on the Portland Water District Board of Trustees. Shattuck-Heidorn unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the board last fall.

And only two candidates are running for three, three-year seats on the Peaks Island Council: Jerzy Sylvester and Peter McLaughlin.