LEWISTON — The 2021 mayoral race is still a long way from being set, with only one candidate making a formal campaign announcement so far.

Ron Potvin, who serves on the Lewiston School Committee, made a formal announcement early this week, becoming the first candidate to do so after Mayor Mark Cayer said he will not seek reelection.

However, three more people have taken out papers for the mayoral seat, and are at least exploring potential campaigns.

Luke Jensen, the Ward 5 city councilor, said he took out papers to explore a run, but is still undecided.

Jensen, elected to the City Council in 2019, said he is not running for reelection because he believes he’ll be moving out of Ward 5 within the year, and does not want to have to vacate his seat mid-term.

“It’s still exploratory,” he said Thursday about a potential mayoral run.

Jensen, 29, was among a crop of three millennial councilors elected in 2019. So far, none of them have taken out papers to run for reelection to the City Council.

City Councilor Lee Clement has also taken out papers for the mayoral seat, but Clement also pulled papers for his current Ward 6 post.

Clement said Thursday that he’s “conferring with constituents and voters, assessing my options” and will most likely choose and file sometime in August.

Also pulling papers was Carl Sheline, co-owner of Munka Coworking on Lisbon Street. Sheline could not be reached for comment Thursday.

When asked, Jensen said Thursday that Cayer’s decision not to run has put some question marks around the mayoral race. He said he doesn’t recall a recent time when multiple people have taken out papers for multiple seats.

Potvin also took out papers for his current School Committee seat.

When announcing his decision not to run in June, Cayer said he’s been proud of his work in finding the middle ground among officials, but said he has faith it will continue even without him.

“I tried really hard to do that over my term and I will continue to do it for the next six months, working with both sides, trying to get people to come to a place in the middle,” he said. “I have faith in our community that they see value in that, and they’ll make the appropriate decisions when it comes to the election.”

As of Thursday afternoon, 23 people had taken out papers for the 15 seats up for grabs, although some have pulled papers for two seats.

New names for the council seats include Linda Scott and Dane Morgan for Ward 1, Caleb Roebuck for Ward 2, Scott Harriman for Ward 3, Rick Lachappelle for Ward 4, and Lynnea Hawkins for Ward 5.

Hawkins also has papers for the Ward 5 School Committee seat, and Morgan also took out papers for the at-large School Committee seat.

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