Talk about a testimonial. If Auburn Mayor John Jenkins can motivate 2,166 people to support him as a write-in candidate, imagine what his professional motivation services can do for you.

In hindsight, disregarding Jenkins’ chances for re-election seems silly. He’s a true trailblazer in local politics, first in about everything – first mayor of both cities, and first African-American mayor of either. It just makes sense he’d be the first write-in winner of a contested race in L-A, or maybe Maine, history.

Until Tuesday, he was known as top-notch professional motivator. After Tuesday, we learned he’s also a pretty good political one, too. People just love to vote for the guy.

All Jenkins does is beat the odds (and his opponents).

He’s a good fit for Auburn, too. We’ve praised his populist message since his first election as the city’s mayor last November; his ward-by-ward barnstorming tour around Auburn, listening to the everyday gripes and groans of the residents, endeared him to the public. He listens, he cares and he excites.

If anything, he’s sometimes too excited. But that’s not a fault, by any means.

We’ve had only one quarrel with his performance as mayor, so far. In June, Jenkins appeared before the joint services committee of Lewiston and Auburn to try to stop its study of combining city management. Instead of his personable self, he seemed uncharacteristically standoffish.

“You’re picking a fight that doesn’t need to be picked,” he was quoted as saying.

As the first mayor to represent both riverbanks, Jenkins is uniquely suited to motivate those pushing the plodding pace of Twin Cities collaboration along. His credibility in Lewiston and Auburn is unequaled, especially now, after his stunning victory. Jenkins has received unprecedented support from the people.

We urge him to ditch his opposition to the commission, and support its important efforts. He can better serve Auburn’s interests as part of the collaborative process, not as its critic. Lewiston’s interests, too.

It wouldn’t be the first time he represents both cities. But Jenkins has already done enough things “first.”

We wish for him, now, to do what he does best.


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