Portland Metropolis Councilor Mark Dion held an enormous lead after the primary spherical of voting for the town’s open mayoral seat on Tuesday evening, however two of his extra progressive opponents may nonetheless win the ranked-choice voting race.
Dion, a former Cumberland County sheriff and state lawmaker, gained 39.6 p.c of votes to 26.4 p.c for Councilor Andrew Zarro and 21.9 p.c for Councilor Pious Ali. Former Councilor Justin Costa acquired 7.9 p.c, whereas political newcomer Dylan Pugh acquired 4 p.c.
The race might be determined in a ranked-choice voting tally at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Pugh might be eradicated and the second decisions of his voters might be reallocated to the remaining candidates. That course of will proceed till one candidate wins a majority.
Mayors in Maine’s largest metropolis have struggled to cement themselves within the full-time elected place established in 2011. The primary mayor was ousted by the second in 2015. Ethan Strimling was then defeated by Kate Snyder in 2019. She declined to run for a second time period after presiding over the town’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The dueling homelessness and housing affordability crises have marked this yr’s election. Dion has emphasised public security when discussing the primary situation. This week, he was the one candidate to criticize a councilor’s plan to permit tenting in parks over the winter.
It was solely one of many points that has put Dion, who was a progressive Democrat within the Maine Legislature, to the fitting of the opposite candidates within the race. He was additionally the one one to oppose elevating Portland’s minimal wage even after it rises to $15 hourly early subsequent yr.
Zarro centered his marketing campaign largely on housing, setting an bold objective of constructing 12,000 new models within the metropolis. Ali pitched himself as a convener, defending Gov. Janet Mills in a single debate after Dion mentioned her administration wanted to do extra to assist Portland present providers to an inflow of asylum seekers.