Vote Paradis to re-set election clock

Lewiston mayoral candidate Mark Paradis understood that citizens are angry about a lot of things, and he was determined to do his part to lead the city away from that anger and toward solutions.

His public announcement Wednesday that he had been diagnosed with cancer seemed to cement that determination as he vowed, if elected, to fulfill his campaign promises to support fair taxes and comprehensive city services.

Paradis’ death Friday afternoon did not erase his ideals, but it does present a challenge to voters just days before Tuesday’s runoff election.

After the November votes were counted, Paradis found himself in a runoff election with Bob Macdonald, each man having earned just over 30 percent of the votes but not the 50 percent required by City Charter for either to claim the mayor’s seat.

In the month since the mayoral field dropped from five candidates to the remaining two, the distinct philosophical differences between Paradis and Macdonald crystallized, giving voters a clear choice in choosing the next mayor.

More than 1,000 voters are so certain about their choice that they have already voted by absentee ballot. Other Lewiston voters will go to the Multi-Purpose Center on Tuesday to cast their ballots, as the city moves forward with the election as planned.

In mourning Paradis’ passing at a City Hall news conference Friday, his friends and political supporters described him as a “good guy.”

A guy who loved his family and loved his community. According to City Councilor Renee Bernier, Paradis had a “passion for life, for the city of Lewiston.”

We agree. Paradis’ devotion to Lewiston was true.

But, the very same can be said for his opponent.

Macdonald is also a beloved family man. He loves the city and has a deep passion to be part of the city’s success.

Each man devoted himself to public service: Paradis in his elected posts on the Planning Board, Finance Committee and City Council, and Macdonald as a beat cop and Lewiston police detective.

Each man earned nearly the same percent of votes in November, and each enjoyed the presence of devoted supporters in the weeks since.

But, the reality is that in the aftermath of Paradis’ death, Tuesday’s election will be a referendum on Bob Macdonald. It’s not the race he entered or the campaign he wanted, but that is the reality for Macdonald and for the citizens of Lewiston.

And it’s no way to select a mayor to lead this city over the next two years.

While Macdonald and Paradis may have shared many of the same personal attributes and good humor, their political views were radically opposed, with Paradis supporting tax increment finance districts and the population’s growing diversity and Macdonald opposed to both based on his deep-seated resistance to corporate hand-outs and the population’s growing dependence on social services.

Whatever you may think of either man, their political differences offered voters a real choice, but that choice disappeared with Paradis’ death.

The city of Lewiston deserves a choice in selecting its next mayor and the only way to do that would be for a majority to support Paradis for mayor, knowing the city would have to declare a vacancy in that office should he win, forcing the race for the mayor’s seat to begin anew.

A vote for Paradis should not be considered a vote against Macdonald so much as it would be a vote to acknowledge the unusual circumstances of this now lop-sided runoff election, giving the city a chance to start over.

The mayoral campaign brought tremendous focus on the needs of the people who live in Lewiston, and in order to address those needs the people need a real choice for mayor. The only way to do that is to begin again.

We urge a vote for Paradis to re-set the election clock.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

jmeyer@sunjournal.com

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Comments

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"A vote for Paradis should

"A vote for Paradis should not be considered a vote against McDonald"...
Given that Mr. Paradis is no longer a viable candidate because of his unfortunate and untimely passing, a vote for Mr. Paradis is exactly what the Sun Journal (Judy Meyer) editorial says it isn't, A VOTE AGAINST BOB MCDONALD!!!
Why not just call it what it is instead of putting the thinly veiled sympathy vote spin on it?

 's picture

I'll say it Pirate

VOTE AGAINST BOB MCDONALD!!!

Steve  Dosh's picture

Vote Paradis to re-set election clock

. . 7 pm Sunday , here in Hawai'i •
Whoever wins , we can be fairly sure that Mark is somewhere looking down on us all and laughing . R I P , Mr. Paradis . Judging by the ferocity and fervor of these comments , something tells me that you are in a better place , especially with a name like Paradis
At least people are running for mayor and there's always write - ins
People get elected via write - in . They really do
Tuesday already , huh ?
http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/Default.aspx
Detroit had a famous N B A basketball player basically - v o l u n t e e r - for that job last round
h t h & ßuena suerté , Steve Dosh , Pahoa 96778 u s a

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The sky is falling

Reading the comments here I guess the sky is falling and the guy you want running things is the guy who made you afraid. I am getting tired of minority candidates who feel they are smarter than the rest of us and need to shove their so called pain down the throats of the " ignorant masses who don't know any better". I would like to see a mayor who has popular support whoever he is. I would have more confidence that we aren't being sold a line of bull. I think with a do-over we have a chance to express the will of the voters.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"I am getting tired of

"I am getting tired of minority candidates who feel they are smarter than the rest of us and need to shove their so called pain down the throats of the 'igonorant masses who don't know any better'"...
"Don't vote for them", chimed the angelic parrot.

Mark Elliott's picture

Minority candidates? Did an

Minority candidates? Did an Independent run? and what does that have to do with MacDonald/Paradis?

 's picture

Oh yeah, well....!!

...wait a minute, I sort of agree with you Mr. Reed! Except maybe the last sentence. Well done sir.

 's picture

Eliminate Subsidized Housing?

Bob Macdonald has called for a moratorium on 'affordable' housing. He never called for the ***elimination*** of affordable housing, plenty of which now exists in Lewiston. It is that kind of misinformation and innuendo that is so sickening.

Housing does not exist is in a linear vacuum. There are many variables that need to be considered when considering any activity in an economy and 'affordable' housing is not exempt.

Bob wants to convene a community conversation on housing after he is elected. He wants to include the new Mayor of Auburn, Jonathan Labonte, in that conversation because Auburn is a variable that does impact "affordable" housing in Lewiston.

Bob is warning that we are entering a new economic era of government austerity that cannot be ignored when talking about 'affordable' housing.

We are indeed in a global economy. Europe is in deep trouble, despite what the breathless headlines proclaimed in the Sun-Journal Saturday. I fully expect a large European bank to fail shortly, causing ripple effects right into L-A.

Washington is broke. So is Augusta. Money that cascades down into L-A is about to dry up.

Welfare is going to be cut significantly soon. The MaineCare reduction proposed by LePage is just the first step in a major reduction in welfare benefits. While LePage will be demonized by this newspaper and their embedded insider friends, the Obama administration is actually going to be cutting funding, leaving LePage little alternative but to gut Maine's generous welfare system. Education funding is next.

The situation is not going to be cured soon. Certainly not for the next 20 years.

Lewiston had damned well better start thinking about stress testing this community and preparing the citizens for what lies ahead. What are we going to do with our New Neighbors, seniors, the disabled when fed funding and state funding goes away or is cut substantially? Do we shut homes down? Do we let the disabled fend for themselves? Do we keep "welcoming" people to free housing who are needy in many ways? When is enough, enough?

To the liberals around this community, Bob Macdonald seems like an ogre that can easily be dismissed as any sort of name he can be called. I believe those same liberals, after the taxpayers have been forced to move out of town and the waves of freeloaders continue to pour in, might some day regret that Bob Macdonald was not listened to.

The storm clouds are clearly visible on the horizon. The foolhardy will ignore them and think that the land of government milk and honey will go on forever. But the emporer truly has no clothes.

Mike Lachance's picture

Excellent, Eloquent, and

Excellent, Eloquent, and prescient.
I wish I had the wherewithal to assemble such posts.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well stated...Kudos.

Well stated...Kudos.

 's picture

Bob Macdonald

I am a long time friend of Bob Macdonald, and to the liberals in this community, that implants a horn right in the middle of my growing forehead, I suppose. I first met Bob when he was a police officer and would come into Simones' for his morning coffee. He and I hit it off, and I suppose have had 2,000 or so conversations with Bob since then. So, I think I know Bob really well.

Bob decided to run for Mayor when he read about what he feels is free and easy money flowing out of City Hall to developers. He wonders where the controls are, and why money was dispensed, apparently, with no verification that real work (benchmarks) was actually accomplished. He feels that our tax monies should be spent wisely.

That is where it started, pure and simple. To hear the fear and innuendo tossed at Bob, you'd think he was the Grand Dragon of the KKK. He was even accused of wanting to hurt seniors and veterans in one ad that ran repeatedly.

Bob, in his time at Lewiston Middle School, never uttered a word to me of a racist topic, much less tone. He would talk in admiration of the Somali girls, who for the first time in their lives were able to flourish without male domination and repression. He would talk, in disgust, about gangsta males that would take an MEA assessment test and mark all "A's" or "B's" and pass the paper in and sit there waiting to be released after taking 3 minutes to do a 1 hour test. He felt badly for the staff of the school that was then adjudged to be "failing" by the bureaucrats. I'd say he was primarily concerned with generational welfare as much as anything and told me of kids that would tell their daughters that they didn't have to do their homework because "they could go on the state when they were 18 anyway." That frustrated Bob mightily.

The Paradis "Bob wants to hurt veterans" ads that ran in this paper were the most hurtful to Bob. Veterans affairs are a high priority in Bob's life and have been for many, many years. Bob spends hours and hours on vet causes. He is active in five vet organizations locally and is the Commander of the local VFW chapter currently. This tactic in attacking Bob is truly unfortunate. Bob will walk away from this campaign, win or lose, knowing that he took the high road and knows in his heart that he treated Mark with dignity and respect in the face of some very hurtful personal attacks.

I guess the entire campaign can be summed up by looking at the people that lined up behind the (we trust neutral) city clerk for the political rally in the city council chambers within a couple of hours of Mark's death on Friday. They represented all that Bob is running against. The ultimate city insiders that have left Lewiston with a huge government dependent downtown and over a $150 million in debt. Maybe that is their vision of Lewiston for the future but it certainly isn't Bob's. Bob represents a vision of personal accountability and rejecting the entitlement mentality that pervades Lewiston's culture. The insiders vision, while good for the insiders, is a slow road to nowhere for Lewiston.

With the insider vision, it is stay the course. Mark never offered any more, and either has the Sun-Journal, champion of the "Grand Experiment" that has failed so spectacularly over the past 10 years of massive welfare in Lewiston.

With two community organizers from hard left wing going on the city council, God only knows where Lewiston will be in 2 years. It won't be pretty, for sure.

So, if you want more of the same, vote for Mark's vision as articulated by the insiders in plain view last Friday. My guess is that it won't work but time will tell.

The reality of politics is that people get the government they deserve.

Bob can offer nothing more but a chance at a fresh start towards prosperity.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

It's too bad that Mr.

It's too bad that Mr. Macdonald doesn't articulate his views in the same way as his supporters do. If Mr. Macdonald had I might be more inclined to vote for him. However, when I have heard him talk I do not hear what his supporters are saying. As much as I agree that Lewiston needs change, I have to wonder if the position of mayor is the right position for Mr. Macdonald. I will say it again....maybe he would be better served to run for positions in Augusta or Washington.

 's picture

I partially agree with Tina

It's neat that he was your coffee buddy Bob and that he can sometimes repeat some of your ideas, but I have a hard time believing that anybody who saw the debate would actually vote for him for mayor of Lewiston. He had a difficult time stringing words or thoughts together. In his all important opening statement: "uh...I wanna talk about Travis Soule!" Okay. That's nice. With regard to shops being opened downtown by recent immigrants, which Mr. Paradis discussed positively: "It's filthy.....it looks like a fourth world country!" Not the right guy to be the face and voice of Lewiston.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

McDonald doesn't live in

McDonald doesn't live in Augusta or Washington. He lives in Lewiston, and he's running for mayor of Lewiston.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

And what I said was that he

And what I said was that he would serve us better in either Augusta or Washington instead of just being a "ceremonial figurehead"....and I also said it would be better if he articulated himself like his supporters articulate for him if he wanted to be elected. And as for mayor of Lewiston I say does he really want to win based on no living opponent...how is that to say he actually has the support of the majority...redo the entire election!!!!!

 's picture

He won by 141 votes Dan. What

He won by 141 votes Dan. What is your point? Are you saying that the city should ignore the city charter? Are you saying that laws only apply when they conform to your belief?

 's picture

It is sad that the entrenched

It is sad that the entrenched political scum in Lewiston would use this sad time for political gain. The LSJ should be ashamed for taking part in it.

GARY SAVARD's picture

I am in complete disagreement

I am in complete disagreement with this editorial and its' lame attempt to disguise partisan political views as rational thinking. I must say though that I'm no more surprised to see it than Doug Rooks' weekly rant on all things conservative. Common sense says that next Tuesday voters will go to the Multi-Purpose Center to vote for Lewiston's next mayor, and at that time we will definately have a clear choice. If you agree with the vision Mark Paradis had for the direction of our City, then you cast your vote for Mr. Paradis. Should he be declared the winner then we have the so called "do-over", and it goes back to square one and anyone can file nomination papers and run for the mayor's office. If, on the other hand, you support Bob Macdonald's views regarding the issues facing Lewiston, then vote for the candidate you were going to vote for in the first place and get it done. A "do over" simply to give Macdonald opponents a chance to find a candidate that they feel might be even stronger than Mr. Paradis would have been doesn't make sense financially or otherwise except to media outlets that sell political advertisements. The fact that over 1000 absentee ballots have already been cast has absolutely no bearing on who voters select on Tuesday, either, although the editorial implies that
unless you vote for a "re-do" they will be wasted. The paper's editorial board has no more of an idea than any of us do as to which direction those votes were cast.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Did he not fail to get the

Did he not fail to get the required percentage margin of the votes as did McDonald? Your question only causes one to marvel at your lack of understanding.

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