Portland City Council Races: Brenerman Announces Won’t Run, 3 Open Seats

Portland City Councilor David Brenerman announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in November, creating a wide-open race for the district representing North Deering, Deering Center and Riverton.

Brenerman said in a written statement that being a councilor had become a full-time job and he is retiring so he can spend more time with his family.

“I have devoted much of my energy over the past two and half years to my work on the council,” said Brenerman, who is also a lobbyist at the State House. “While all of this has been exhilarating, and I will miss working on issues that are important to Portland, I’ve decided to leave the council and enjoy more time with my family, focus more on my business, travel, and enjoy other interests.”

Elected in 2014 to represent District 5, Brenerman has been a moderate and pragmatic councilor, focusing most of his efforts on economic development issues. His departure comes as progressive advocates are looking to move the council, which is full of democrats, further to the left on fiscal and social issues.

The District 5 seat is one of three up for grabs this year.

City Councilor Jill Duson is seeking re-election to an at-large seat, which represents the whole city. The veteran councilor, who is ending her sixth term, is being challenged by Joey Brunelle, a web developer, and Bree LaCasse, who works in the local nonprofit and affordable housing sectors.

Both Brunelle and LaCasse are community activists. Brunelle spearheaded opposition to the city’s effort stop offering HIV health services at the India Street Public Health Center, while LaCasse was involved in the 2014 citizen referendum to overturn the sale of Congress Square Park. She has been a leader in revitalizing the community space at Congress and High streets through her work with the Friends of Congress Square Park.

The District 4 seat, representing parts of Washington Avenue and the Deering, East Deering and Back Cove neighborhoods, is also up for grabs in November. That seat is currently held by Justin Costa, who is seeking re-election. Kim Rich, the vice presidents on the North Deering Neighborhood Association, has created a web page for her candidacy, but has not formally announced.

Nomination papers are not available until July 3. At-large candidates need to get between 300 to 500 signatures from people registered to vote in Portland, while district candidates need between 75 to 150 signatures to appear on the ballot. The deadline to submit nomination papers is 4:30 p.m.

Randy Billings can be reached at 791-6346 or at:

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