PORTLAND — There’s going to be a new mayor.

Portland residents have chosen Ethan Strimling as the mayor of Maine’s largest city.

Strimling defeated the city’s first elected mayor, incumbent Michael Brennan, along with Green Independent party leader Tom MacMillan. Strimling won with 51 percent of the vote on Tuesday.

Brennan and Strimling sparred about how they would work with Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Brennan said Strimling “naively” believes a functional relationship with Republican Gov. Paul LePage is possible. MacMillan said overcoming the governor’s negative impression of Portland will be a big challenge for the next governor.

The race also touched on affordable housing, the city’s minimum wage and the pace of development in the city.

$15 minimum wage rejected

Voters in Maine’s largest city have rejected proposals to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and to change the city’s planning ordinance to protect water views.

The City Council already approved a minimum wage hike from $7.50 to $10.10 per hour that goes into effect on Jan. 1. The move made Portland the first municipality in the state to decide to have a minimum wage higher than the statewide minimum, but voters decided an additional hike was too much.

The other referendum was aimed at protecting water views.

The proposal would’ve required developers to share information with the public about projects that require rezoning. Supporters say they hoped to preserve views of Portland Harbor and rein in zoning change proposals.

Opponents said the initiative would’ve hold back growth in the city.


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