The majority of the Hampden Town Council will be different in January when four new councilors elected last week to three-year terms take their seats on the seven-member panel.
None of the veteran council members who represent the town’s four districts sought reelection to their seats. Three council members who are elected at large weren’t on the ballot last Tuesday. Their seats will be on the ballot next fall.
Just one of the newly elected councilors, Mark Cormier, has served on the council before — from 2016 through 2018. Christine Cumberley, Peter Erickson and Allen Esposito are newcomers who garnered 959, 934 and 996 votes respectively in their districts.
Cormier was the only one of the four who faced opposition in his race. He defeated former Councilor Jean Lawlis by a vote of 698 to 353.
Erickson, 44, the owner of Erickson’s Hardware and Gift, located next to the former Hampden Academy, will represent District 1. He replaces Stephen Wilde, 54.
“We are fully vested in the town and its success,” he said of himself and his family in a candidate profile posted on Hampden’s website. “I am anxious to be a positive influence on the council.”
Erickson did not respond to a request for comment.
In District 2, Cubberly, 66, replaces Dennis Marble, 71, who has been on the council for two terms and was appointed earlier this year to the Maine Ethics Commission, which investigates election law and lobbying violations. Six years was the right amount of time to serve, Marble said.
Cubberley is native of France but became a U.S. citizen after moving to Maine, according to her candidate profile. She is a piano composer and recording artist who has lived in Hampden for 12 years but had never run for office before.
“It’s not about politics, it’s about getting involved and knowing what’s happening in the community,” she said of her reasons for wanting to serve on the council. “I think I will be a fresh voice. I’m really looking forward to serving.”
In District 3, Cormier, 57, will replace Terry McAvoy, 67. A lifelong Hampden resident, Cormier said he ran again because he sees public service as a responsibility.
“I have grown up, raised a family and retired here in Hampden,” he said in his candidate profile. “My wife has been a teacher in the school system for 31 years. Hampden is a wonderful town and I intend to work very hard to keep it that way. I love this community and want to ensure our future generations get to enjoy the same quality of life my family and I have been fortunate enough to have had here.”
Allen Esposito, 34, replaces David Ryder, 61, in District 4. A former paratrooper in the U.S. Army, Esposito now works for the federal government and is chairman of the Penobscot County Libertarian Party, according to his candidate profile.
“Let it be known that, if elected, I will work to improve liberties of the people,” he said in his candidate profile. “Whether infringement be social or economic, I work to limit the power and scope of government in everyday life.”
Shelby Wright, 49, an at-large member who is serving her third non-consecutive term on the council said last week that she was excited about welcoming the new council members.
“I’m looking forward to getting their input and the opportunity to work with them,” she said.
In other Hampden races, Kimberley Moran was elected to the Regional School Unit 22 school board with 2,000 votes. Her opponents, Angela Tsai and Allene Uiko Frey, earned 976 and 1,025 votes respectively. Moran replaces Susan Hawks, who did not seek reelection.
James Conley and Christopher Henderson were elected trustees of the Hampden Water District, where two seats were open. Conley 2,345 votes while Henderson garnered 1,720. Nathaniel Morrell came in last in the race with 1,680 votes.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of Kimberley Moran, who was elected to the Regional School Unit 22 board.