LEWISTON — Mark Paradis, a candidate in a two-way mayoral runoff election, has died, a spokesman for his campaign said.
Paradis, 59, announced Wednesday he was battling cancer but did not disclose what kind. He had been undergoing radiation treatments for the cancer, he said Wednesday.
A release issued by his campaign stated he died at Central Maine Medical Center due to complications from pneumonia.
Paradis' wife Ronnie along with other family members and friends were with him at the time of his death, according to the statement issued by campaign spokesman Michael Dumas.
Also on the ballot is Robert Macdonald. Paradis and Macdonald were the top two in a five-way race for mayor in November but the city charter requires the winning candidate for mayor to receive at least 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to be declared the winner, which is what set up the runoff election.
City Clerk Kathy Montejo said Tuesday's election would go ahead as planned.
"If Bob Macdonald wins outright he will be the mayor," she said. "If Mark wins we will schedule a special election because the seat will be declared vacant. But this will be a completely new election, starting from ground zero. Anybody can run. It will not be a runoff election."
Voters could still cast ballots for Paradis if they supported him. More than 900 voters had already cast ballots via the absentee system, Montejo said. Those ballots will not be counted until Tuesday.
A release issued by Montejo said Ward 2 City Councilor Renee Bernier would be holding a press conference in the City Council Chambers at City Hall at 4:15 p.m. today.
Bernier would be issuing a statement on behalf of the Paradis family, according to that release.
Montejo said she was saddened by the news.
"Mark was an exceptional public servant," Montejo said. "So is his wife, for that matter." Paradis served on the Lewiston City Council for Ward 6 from 2002 to 2007. He also served on the city's Planning Board from 1997 to 2001. He ran for mayor in 2009 but was defeated by former police chief Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.
Paradis was employed as a service manager for Longchamps & Sons Inc. in Lisbon.
A release issued by Paradis' campaign spokesman Michael Dumas stated, "The Paradis family has requested privacy while they grieve during this immeasurably sad time."