June 7, 2024

Voters head to polls in primary election June 11

By Ed Pierce

For Windham Town Clerk Linda Morrell, the upcoming primary voting on Tuesday, June 11 will be another election in her long career, but for her counterpart in Raymond, Melanie Fernald, it will the first time she has overseen an election as Raymond Town Clerk.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for voters 
in Windham and Raymond casting ballots on Tuesday,
Sample ballots are available online and there are several contested races in the primary, but for the most part, voting will be for registered voters by party affiliation. The ballots will also contain 34 different referendum items in Raymond and for voters to approve or disapprove the RSU 14 annual budget in both Raymond and Windham.

On the ballot for Democrats in Windham, is U.S. Senate candidate David Allen Costello of Brunswick, and incumbent U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree of North Haven. State Senator Tim Nangle of Windham is running for re-election in District 26 and Doris A. Poland of Windham is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Representative in District 106 representing part of Windham. Susan G. Schwartz of Portland is seeking the Democratic nomination for Register of Probate. Incumbent Jane Pringle of Windham is seeking re-election for her District 107 seat representing part of Windham.

The Republican ballot for Windham includes U.S. Senate candidate Demi Kouzounas of Saco and two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S Representative, Andrew Piantidosi of Cape Elizabeth and Ronald C. Russell of Kennebunkport. Jerry Lynn Dewitt of New Gloucester is seeking the Republican nomination for Register of Probate and Kenneth J. Cianchette of Windham is unopposed in a bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Tim Nangle for State Senator in District 26. Incumbent Barbara Bagshaw of Windham is seeking re-election for her District 106 seat representing part of Windham in the Maine House of Representatives. Mark Cooper of Windham is seeking the Republican District 107 nomination to represent part of Windham in the legislature.

In Raymond, Democrat Craig R. Messinger of Raymond is on the ballot for State Representative in District 86, while Rolf A. Olsen, Jr. is on the ballot as the Republican candidate for District 86 in the Maine House of Representatives. Incumbent Democrat Jessica Fay currently holds that seat but is term-limited and cannot run for that position this fall.

Democrat candidates also on the primary ballot in Raymond are Tim Nangle (State Senate District 26), Chellie Pingree (U.S. Representative), Susan G. Schwartz (Register of Probate), and David Allen Costello (U.S. Senate). Republican candidates also appearing on the ballot in Raymond are Demi Kouzounas (U.S. Senate), Jerry Lynn Dewitt (Register of Probate), Kenneth J. Cianchette (State Senate District 26) and Andrew Piantidosi and Ronald C. Russell (U.S. Representative).

Three candidates are on the ballot to serve three-year terms on the Raymond Budget Finance Committee. They are Christopher S. Hansen, Clifford G. Small, and Donald L. Willard. Three seats on the committee are available.

Grace E.D. Leavitt of Raymond is the lone candidate seeking a three-year term on the RSU 14 Board of Directors representing Raymond.

Two candidates are vying for a three-year term on the Raymond Board of Selectmen. Incumbent Joseph Bruno is seeking re-election and is opposed by Raymond Budget Finance Committee member and former Raymond Fire Chief Denis Morse.

Raymond voters will also determine the fate of 34 different referendum items as part of a modified town meeting. The item labeled “X” on the ballot asks voters to approve a bond of $8.1 million to construct a new Public Works Facility. Select Board members and Budget Finance Committee members agree that a new facility is needed but differ in opinion about the scope and size of the proposed project. Select Board members recommend approval of the project, while Budget Finance Committee do not recommend voting for it. Getting that language on the ballot caused some friction between the Select Board and the Budget Finance Committee earlier this year when Raymond Selectmen voted to nullify a Budget Finance Committee unanimous vote to not recommend the referendum item. It does appear on the ballot though as recommended by Selectmen but not recommended by the town’s Budget Finance Committee.

Lastly, voters in Raymond and Windham will vote to approve the RSU 14 budget proposal.

During a meeting in May, the following budget proposal was put forward: To see what sum the Regional School Unit will authorize the School Board to expend for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2025 from the Regional School Unit’s contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to Grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act, local funds for non-state-funded school construction projects, additional local funds for school purposes under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15690, unexpended balances, tuition receipts, state subsidy and other receipts for the support of schools. The RSU 14 Board of Directors recommends $60,185,403.

Voting in Raymond will be at Jordan-Small Middle School and runs from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters can cast ballots in Windham at Windham High School between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. <

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