On Thursday City Councilor Mark Dion announced his bid to become Portland’s next Mayor.
Portland’s current Mayor Kate Snyder said in September of last year that she won’t be seeking reelection this November.
Dion, who runs a private law practice, has served as a City Councilor for Portland’s Fifth District for three years, after winning a four-way race in 2020 with 39 percent of the vote.
He previously served as the Sheriff of Cumberland Country from 1999 to 2010, when he then won a seat as a Democrat in the Maine House of Representatives, where he was named Chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in 2013.
Dion unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Maine in 2018, placing fifth in the Democratic primary.
“I appreciate the support and encouragement to run. I have heard from a wide range of citizens and business owners. As Mayor, I will commit all my efforts to preserving the quality of life and place we all expect for our neighborhoods,” Dion said in his announcement.
“My work with the council and city staff will focus on serving the best interests of our residents who deserve a city that is safe, affordable, and welcoming of economic opportunities that will inspire our collective vision of what Portland could be,” he said.
Dion was the only Portland City Councilor to vote against the recent contract to build a new 180-bed shelter for single asylum seekers in the city’s Riverton neighborhood, after receiving feedback from his constituents
“We need to clarify that there are two significant categories of unhoused individuals in this community,” Dion said at the Council meeting to vote on the contract to build the shelter. “There are those who are unhoused by virtue of their refugee status, and there are those that are unhoused by individual circumstance, and they need different kinds of services.”
“Our one resource for the circumstantially unhoused has been overtaken by the unhoused who are here because of a political decision to allow them into the country for any number of reasons,” Dion said.
Dion is facing competition in his Mayoral bid from his fellow Councilman Andrew Zarro, who announced his candidacy in May.
Dylan Pugh, a web developer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, announced his candidacy for Mayor of Portland in April.
Portland’s municipal elections will take place on Nov. 7, 2023.