Election workers chat while waiting for voters Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Credit: File photo

The town of Newport is holding a special election Jan. 11 to find a replacement for Select Board member Randy Davis, who died last month.

Davis, who died Nov. 15, according to his obituary, was 67. He served on the Newport Select Board as chairperson and vice chairperson in the past. Most recently, he had stepped down from his chairmanship due to medical reasons, Town Manager Jim Ricker said.

The special election will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Public Safety Building. Paperwork to run for the position will be available starting Monday, Dec. 6, at the town office. Those interested will need to file paperwork by noon on Dec. 27.

Candidates need a minimum of 25 signatures from registered voters who support them running for the board, Ricker said Friday.

“We recommend at least 30 or so because some folks may not be registered voters of the community,” he said.

Chairperson Kate Rush, Vice Chairperson Donna Berry, Bruce Clarke and Gus Demos serve on the board.

During the meeting Wednesday, Select Board member Donna Berry said she understood the urgent need to fill Davis’ position, but asked, “Do we feel this is the right time to do it? It feels a little recent to me, but I know business has to go on.”

The town needs a full Select Board, especially moving into the new year, Ricker said. Interesting matters will come before the board in January and February, he said.

At the Select Board’s meeting Nov. 17, members expressed sadness about Davis’ death and discussed the best way to connect with his family. Ricker said he would prepare a card for the members to sign and would follow up with a phone call to share their condolences.

The town will likely dedicate its next town report — which is released annually and always honors a person in the community — to Davis. “Randy would certainly fit any criteria,” Ricker said.

“Randy was a very active member on the board,” he said. “He was in the town office at least weekly, sometimes two or three times a week. He kept himself pretty informed about what’s going on. He had quite a few questions that citizens came to him with.”

Davis was born in Dexter. He served in the Air Force and later the Army Reserves, where at one point he was transferred to Saudi Arabia, according to his obituary. Davis also worked as a police reserve officer in Newport and Orono. He retired as parts manager at Hartley’s, a car dealership in Newport.

There was no formal service held for Davis, though a celebration of life may be arranged in the future, the obituary said.