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Policy Matters 2023 – Platform Interviews with Mayoral Candidates

The Portland Townsman presents Policy Matters, a series of audio interviews, with transcriptions, with each of the mayoral candidates running in Portland this November. The first interview, with candidate Mark Dion, was released October 2nd, and the other interviews were released throughout October. Listen to the conversation, hosted by Ashley Keenan, on Spotify, download the mp3 to your computer or other device, or read the transcripts posted here on

To make an informed decision on who to vote for as Mayor of Portland, voters need to know two things – who the candidates are, and what they plan to do. In answering the former, candidates should share their backgrounds, their accomplishments, their qualifications, their relationships, and evidence of their character. There has been no shortage of such coverage in Portland’s local media.

However, we here at the Townsman feel as though the latter pillar – the policies, platforms, and proposals of the candidates – have been rather lacking in coverage. As such, we’ve conducted these interviews with the intent of capturing as much information as possible about what these candidates plan to do, should they be elected Mayor.

To put it crudely – we don’t care who you are, we want to know your plan.

This is not to say that the character and competence of the candidates isn’t important, these are very important. But we hope to fill a niche for those voters eager to learn more about the potential leaders of our city.


See below for links to the Townsman pages, Spotify episodes, and mp3 downloads for each of the interviews as they release. Interviews will release in the order they were conducted, which was the order in which the candidates responded to and scheduled with the editorial team.

“Giving Voice to Whispers” – Mark Dion’s Policy Matters Interview

Released October 2nd, 2023

“People Want a Vision” – Andrew Zarro’s Policy Matters Interview

Released October 8th, 2023

I Will Lead Collaboratively” – Pious Ali’s Policy Matters Interview

Released October 18th, 2023

“If You Want Better Outcomes, You Need to Do Better” – George Rheault’s Policy Matters Interview

Published October 21st, 2023

“No One Should Have Power Over Anyone Else” – Dylan Pugh’s Policy Matters Interview

Published on October 27th, 2023

Thank you for supporting Policy Matters 2023.

Note: Justin Costa, another candidate, did not respond to requests for an interview.

Ashley D. KeenanAshley is an editor of The Portland Townsman, writer, local small business-owner, and Maine native. Her work primarily covers the mechanics of local government, the ongoing housing crisis, responsible market economics, and New England culture and history. She lives in Portland with her fiancé and can be personally reached at

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