Ethan Strimling

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — New Mayor Ethan Strimling started work today at City Hall.

He's the city's second elected, full-time mayor since voters created that position in 2010. He won against incumbent Michael Brennan in November, after directing the nonprofit Learning Works for 19 years.

Irwin Gratz spoke today with Strimling; he asked Strimling about his priorities:


Jay Field / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A former state lawmaker and longtime political commentator is taking on incumbent Michael Brennan in this fall's Portland mayoral race. Ethan Strimling narrowly lost to Brennan four years ago. Brennan submitted signatures for his re-election a few hours after Strimling's announcement.

The day of maneuvering aimed at Portland's top job began on a sweltering street corner. Ethan Strimling lives at the corner of Spring and Brackett Streets, a short walk from LearningWorks, the community education and mental health agency he runs.

Stock image showing two men arguing about politics, ostensibly.

The Maine Council of Churches is sponsoring a series of discussions around the issue of civil discourse in public and political life. A panel of experts convened recently to discuss this issue addressing questions such as what is civil discourse and what is not; when is negativity uncivil, is it possible to run a civil campaign, and is there a danger of civil discourse being used as an excuse to suppress radical opinions?