2024 Election Candidate Bios

View Election Information Including Candidates Night (Feb 1st) At This Link

Watch Feb 1st Candidates Night Video At This Link

Click names to read candidate-submitted biographies. School Board candidates follow below Town Council candidates.

THREE (3) Town Council seats open, 3 year terms

  1. Jacob Baker
  2. Robert Laraway
  3. Matthew Powers
  4. Scott Thomas

Jacob Baker - portrait of smiling manI moved to Orono almost 15 years ago for graduate school, where I got a Master’s Degrees in Public Administration and Business Administration. Even though I had no intention of staying here after I graduated, I quickly came to realize what a wonderful town Orono is. It is because of my love for this town…and meeting my wife, Jessica…that I have chosen here to build my life and family here.

 On the professional side, I am a commercial lender at Bangor Savings Bank where I work with businesses and non-profit organizations in the Greater Bangor area. Outside of work, I am involved in the community through service on boards and committees, with Habitat for Humanity, the Penobscot Theatre, and the Katahdin Area Council (Boy Scouts). I also volunteer with Junior Achievement at Asa Adams. 

 I am running for town council as a moderate voice. I pride myself in my ability to work with diverse groups and collaborate - to ensure that everybody is heard. I ultimately may not agree with every opinion of every person, but that doesn’t mean everybody should not have a voice.  

There is a lot the town is doing right. We have many public resources, from the pool, to the miles of trails, to all of the parks and playgrounds. Yes, we have these amenities because the town prioritizes them, but also because of partnerships with the University of Maine, with the Land Trust, and other private and public organizations. We need to continue strengthening these relationships.    

 While Orono is moving in the right direction; we face some headwinds driven by economic uncertainty, an aging demographic, and general fiscal pressures. As pandemic funds continue to decline, the priority needs to be reaching budget sustainability in this new reality. We cannot cut our way to a balanced budget, nor can we grow to it. We need to cut expenses and grow revenues in a way that works for every citizen.   

 Thank you for your support.  I would love to hear from you on my Facebook page.  

TWO (2) RSU 26 School Board seats open, 3 year terms

  1. Mark Brewer
  2. Brian McGill

Mark Brewer - portrait of smiling man

My name is Mark Brewer and I am seeking reelection to the RSU 26 (Orono) School Board of Directors. I live in Orono with my wife Tammy and four children, all of whom attend/attended Orono schools. I am Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Maine, where I have worked since 2004. In addition to my experience on the School Board, I volunteer extensively in the Orono community.

I believe schools are central to any community. They are where we educate our children, where we watch them learn and grow, and where we often come together as a community. Ensuring that our schools are strong and healthy is of the utmost importance, and this is why I want to continue to serve on the RSU 26 (Orono) School Board of Directors. The primary role of an Orono School Board member is to work tirelessly to ensure the best education possible for all of the students enrolled in Orono schools while at the same time being a responsible and prudent steward of the schools' resources, provided by the residents of Orono. Ultimately I would like Orono schools to be the best in the greater Bangor area, and eventually the best in Maine. We owe nothing less than this to the students who pass and will pass through Orono's school doors. As a member of the Orono community and a parent of Orono school children (and one graduate) I pledge to work continuously to improve our schools.