KITTERY, Maine — Voters swarmed the community center for hours on Tuesday, electing a new face to the town’s school board.

Current city council member Mary Gibbons Stevens and first-time candidate Celestyne Fisher-Bragg were elected to council in an uncontested race. Each got three-year terms starting this month and ending in 2025.

The candidates stood side by side outside the Kittery Community Center auditorium on Tuesday morning, greeting residents and pondering the city’s most pressing issues.

Fisher-Bragg, a graduate of RW Traip Academy in 1974 and a reverend of New Hope Baptist Church in Portsmouth, and Stevens noted that voters had expressed a need for more women on city council.

“They’re excited to see the change,” said Fisher-Bragg, a U.S. Coast veteran and Air Force retiree. “It’s an opportunity for them.

Stevens said locals came to see her to discuss their concern over multiple incidents involving a known neo-Nazi group in Kittery and on the shoreline. Many have wondered what the roles of the city and the police department are in responding to the presence of the Nationalist Social Club, a hate group with New England roots that has been active in the city and Portsmouth on separate occasions dating back at the end of 2021.

“It’s worrying for people,” she said.

Questions about zoning policies and the city’s ‘conscious development’, in addition to addressing climate change, environmental concerns and housing affordability issues, are also of concern to voters, she added. . Stevens and Fisher-Bragg also hope to address youth mental health, with Fisher-Bragg specifically suggesting creating an ice rink or skatepark in town and adding programs to the Kittery Community Center for teens and young adults.

“I think we really need to focus on young people,” she said. “Between the crisis level of the depression, the anxiety and everything they’re dealing with, I think it’s our responsibility as adults in the community to find those positive outlets for them.”

City Clerk Jillian Richards reported Kittery’s unofficial vote count early Wednesday morning. Stevens received 3,512 votes and Fisher-Bragg, lined up to replace outgoing City Council member Jeffrey Pelletier, who opted out of running for his seat this fall, received 3,151 votes.

Ben Briggs elected to the city’s school committee, Pomerleau loses his re-election

With three seats to be filled, two members of the incumbent school committee were re-elected, unlike a third incumbent.

Chair Julie Dow, a committee member for 15 years, Vice Chair Kim Bedard and newcomer Ben Briggs were each elected to the committee for a three-year term ending in 2025.

Kittery voters elected residents Ben Briggs, Julie Dow and Kim Bedard to the school committee in local and state elections on Tuesday.  Dow is the current committee chair, while Bedard is the committee's vice-chair.  Briggs is a newcomer and will replace outgoing committee member Rhonda Pomerleau, who lost her re-election bid on Tuesday.

Dow was the top voter with 3,258, followed by Bedard, who had 2,856, and Briggs, who received 2,400 votes.

Current school committee member Rhonda Pomerleau lost her re-election bid, placing fourth with 1,648 votes.

Kittery residents vote for local Democrats in state legislature

Kittery residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic Maine Governor Janet Mills, who won re-election to her second term on Tuesday, over Republican challenger and former Governor Paul LePage by a margin of 3,750 to 1,268 Independent gubernatorial candidate Sam Hunkler received 93 votes from Kittery.

U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, won her eighth term in the House of Representatives, defeating her GOP opponent Edwin Thelander. In Kittery, Pingree emerged victorious in the ranked voting system.

Maine 2022 Election Results:See numbers from all races across the state

State Rep. Kristi Mathieson, a Democrat from Kittery who ran unopposed in District 151, won re-election to the State House and received 3,737 votes in her hometown.

State Rep. Michele Meyer of District 150 and State Senator Mark Lawrence of District 35, both Eliot Democrats, appeared to be up for reelection early Wednesday morning.

Meyer, taking on Eliot Republican David Rumery, received 256 votes in Kittery, while Lawrence, challenged by Kittery Republican Julie Rakic, received 3,635 votes in town. By comparison, Rumery received 136 votes and Rakic ​​received 1,432 in Kittery, according to Richards’ figures.

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