LEWISTON — Saying he wanted to focus on the positive, former Mayor Larry Gilbert said Wednesday he plans to run for mayor again.
"I intend to run a positive campaign, with a great deal of vigor," Gilbert said. "With your help, I will again enjoy the honor and pleasure of serving you."
Gilbert, surrounded by 25 supporters gathered on the back side of the Lewiston Public Library, huddled in the rain under the library's former Park Street entrance.
Gilbert said he never intended to run again when he stepped down in 2012. In fact, he threw away most of his campaign signs after his 2009 re-election. Only 10 remained, and they were used at Gilbert's rally Wednesday.
"Over the past year and half, I have been asked and encouraged to seek higher office, or to return as Lewiston's mayor," Gilbert said. "My response was always no."
Gilbert said current Mayor Robert Macdonald focuses too much on negativity, pointing to problems in the city. If elected, Gilbert said he'd turn the focus back to positive messages.
"Yes, we must address our challenges," Gilbert said. "But we have much to offer. We must be a positive force to attract the attention of businesses, families and others looking for a community with an outstanding workforce and excellent public schools."
This would be the fourth time Gilbert has run for mayor and it would be his third full term in the job, if he wins.
Gilbert completed the final year of Lionel Guay's term in 2007 and was re-elected to the job twice, serving until January 2012. The city's charter at the time limited mayors to two consecutive terms. It's been changed since and now allows mayors to serve three consecutive terms.
But City Clerk Kathy Montejo said Gilbert's intention is legal under any interpretation of the charter. The old charter allowed mayors to serve a third term as long as there was a break between their second and third terms.