Cross, Pratt win council seats in Gorham

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In the run-up to the polls closing Tuesday, a line in the corridor waits to register at Gorham’s Ward 2 polls at Shaw Gym.

A sign at Gorham’s Ward 2 Tuesday.

Virginia Wilder Cross

Lee Pratt

GORHAM — Voters Tuesday chose Virginia Wilder Cross and Lee Pratt in a three-way race to fill two available Town Council seats.

Cross was the top vote-getter with 4,029, Pratt won 3,754 and Claude “Fred” Daigle tallied 3,389 in a strong bid.

“I am pleased to have earned my place on the council, but I am also appreciative of having had the chance to meet so many Gorham folks who are passionate about our town. Now it’s time to get to work,” Cross, a retired educator, said Wednesday in an email.

Pratt, chief financial officer at a family firm, is a current Planning Board member. “I want to thank all the voters of Gorham for the great turnout at the polls, I also want to thank Fred and Ginny for a clean and pleasant election,” Pratt said Wednesday in an email. “Now the work starts and hopefully I can show the town how much I truly appreciate being elected to the Town Council.”

Cross won all wards except Ward 1-2, Daigle’s home district, which Daigle captured 651-561.

Incumbents Sherrie Benner and Marla Stelk did not seek reelection.

Darryl Wright and Anne Schools, who were unopposed, took the two, three-year terms on the town’s School Committee. Wright is the current chairman and Schools made her first run for political office.

Dennis Libby, a longtime School Committee member who served four times as chairman, did not seek reelection. Last year, Libby was elected to a one-year term to fill a vacancy.

The turnout appeared heavy in Gorham but official numbers were not available by the American Journal print deadline Wednesday.

Rod and Lori Stuart of Gorham were waiting in a line Tuesday evening in the corridor to vote in Ward 2 at Shaw Gym. “I didn’t think it would be this long,” she said.

“It’s great to see all the young people this evening,” he said as they stood in line.

Many in the line were University of Southern Maine students. But a Gorham election official, Martha Towle, said another long line was those waiting to register. “It’s been out the door several times,” Towle said.

A university junior, Brenden Pittiglio, said students were shuttled to the polls from the Gorham campus. “The school had buses going for awhile,” Pittiglio said.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 780-9089 or email rlowell@keepmecurrent.com.