Jul. 15—AUBURN — The number of people taking out nomination papers for this year's election is lagging behind previous election cycles, so far.
As of Thursday, nine people had taken out papers to run for the 15 elected seats. All seats are up for election every two years.
According to City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire, at this time two years ago, some 25 people had taken out papers.
"(That's) much different from what we've seen so far this year," she said.
Earlier Thursday, Mayor Jason Levesque became the first official candidate for mayor, announcing he will seek a third term. Asked about the low numbers of candidates, Levesque said he wasn't sure yet.
"I do think that folks think it's much more of a time commitment than it is," he said. "If you work smart versus hard it shouldn't be that huge of a commitment."
Councilors Belinda Gerry, Leroy Walker, Tim MacLeod and Steve Milks have taken out papers. Newcomers Dana Staples and Rick Whiting have also taken out papers for council seats.
For the School Committee, Karen Mathieu and Dan Poisson pulled papers Thursday morning.
Earlier in the week, former councilor and mayoral candidate Adam Lee posted a message about the low numbers on an Auburn community Facebook page.
"A city is only as good as those who step up to serve it," he wrote. "If nobody steps up, it's nothing. I implore you, regardless of what you regard as your inexperience or fear as to the time commitment, the city needs you, please step up to serve."
As of Wednesday in Lewiston, 16 people had taken out papers for the 15 seats. City Clerk Kathy Montejo said it appeared about average from previous years.
Mayor Mark Cayer had previously said he is not running for re-election. So far, Councilor Lee Clement and School Committee member and former mayoral candidate Ron Potvin have taken out papers for the seat.
Clement and Potvin have also pulled papers to run for re-election for their current seats.
So far, only two councilors — Clement and Ward 7 Councilor Stephanie Gelinas — have taken out papers for re-election.
New names for the council seats include Linda Scott and Dane Morgan for Ward 1, Caleb Roebuck for Ward 2, Scott Harriman for Ward 3, and Rick Lachappelle for Ward 4.
Longtime mayoral candidate Charles Soule has taken out papers for the Ward 5 council seat.
In Auburn, completed nomination papers must be filed with the City Clerk's office no later than Thursday, Aug. 19.
In Lewiston, completed nomination papers must be filed with the City Clerk's office no later than Friday, Sept. 3.
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