LEWISTON — Mayoral candidate Mark Paradis has been diagnosed with cancer but will continue his election bid, he announced Wednesday morning.
Paradis made the announcement during a 1 p.m. news conference at the Lewiston Public Library.
According to a statement released Wednesday, Paradis, 59, has started radiation treatments that will continue for several more days. He and his doctors will re-evaluate his condition once those treatments are complete.
Paradis' doctors said he will live long enough to serve one two-year term, the release stated.
"But make no mistake about it, if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will not let this illness stand in my way of giving 110 percent to this city," Paradis said in a prepared statement. "I love this beautiful city and I am dedicated to doing what I can to help it continue to move forward."
An aide to Paradis, who asked not to be identified, said the candidate is making the announcement to be truthful with voters.
Paradis faces Robert Macdonald in a special election Dec. 13, less than a week away.
Macdonald, a former Lewiston police officer and education tech at Lewiston Middle School, has said he wants to limit subsidized housing.
Paradis, a former city councilor and Planning Board member, said he wants to promote economic development.
Paradis and Macdonald were the top two vote-getters in a field of five candidates in the Nov. 8 municipal election, with Paradis claiming 32 percent of the total votes cast and Macdonald picking up 31 percent.
Lewiston rules require that a mayor get at least 50 percent of the votes cast, plus one vote. Since neither candidate did, a runoff is required.
Text of Lewiston Mayoral Candidate Mark Paradis' statement, Dec. 7, 2011:
For me, this is a personal tragedy. It is something that my wonderful wife Ronnie, and son Phillip and I, must come to terms with and cope with privately. But make no mistake about it, if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will not let this illness stand in my way of giving 110 percent to this city.
I love this beautiful city and I am dedicated to doing what I can to help it continue to move forward.
This election is bigger than one man. It is bigger than two men running against each other. I have said all along that this race is not about me. I'm not looking to take center stage and create a scene. This election is not about Mark Paradis versus Bob Mcdonald. It is about a way of thinking, a way of doing things, a philosophy. I continue to believe that our approach is the right approach. It is one of balance, compassion, listening to each other, and thinking problems through using intelligent discussion and reason.
I do not want this illness to be the reason that a voter casts their ballot either for or against me. At the end of the day, I want to be able to look every voter in the eye and know what I told them was honest and what I meant to say. With cancer, or without cancer, I am the right person to lead this city. I refuse to let cancer dictate my life to me.
Regardless of the result on Tuesday, I would hope that there are some people out there in similar circumstances who can see me living life the way I want to and draw strength and solace form that and use it to empower their own lives. I will end this campaign next Tuesday with zero regrets. While most in similar circumstances would understandably want to spend their remaining time with friends and family, I cannot draw myself away from my desire to serve the people of Lewiston. I consider everyone to be friends and I know that if I can spend my time on earth working to make their lives better, there would be no greater personal satisfaction.
Life is not about being angry, or worried or upset. The true peace in life is in making others lives better and being at peace with one's self. You had better believe that as the next mayor, I would not wate peoples' time making promises I can't keep. I can see the sands slipping through my hourglass. I don't have time to waste. Each day, each meeting, each event, I will approach with an aggressive resolve to make a positive accomplishment. It is my ultimate goal to set this city on a positive path that will outlive all of us.
Thank you, and God Bless