LEWISTON — Mayor Bob Macdonald and challenger Ben Chin will face off Nov. 19 in City Hall for a debate leading up to their Dec. 8 runoff election.

Heidi Sawyer, moderator of the “Lewiston Rocks the Vote” Facebook group, said the format will be an actual debate, giving the two candidates a chance to rebut each other’s answers.

“The reason we are doing it this way is because people complained that there has not been an actual debate,” Sawyer said Tuesday. “They were all mostly question-and-answer forums so far. People want an actual debate so they can really distinguish between the two candidates and get right down to the nitty-gritty.”

According to Lewiston’s charter, mayoral candidates need to win by a majority — at least 50 percent of the total, plus one vote. If there is no winner, the two with the most votes go to a runoff election.

Chin had the most votes of any mayoral candidate at Lewiston’s polls Nov. 3, with 3,673 out of 8,332 votes cast in the mayoral race — 44 percent of the total and 494 votes short of the 50-percent threshold.

Macdonald was a close second, losing by 566 votes. Macdonald had 3,107 votes and 37 percent of the vote total.


The remaining three candidates accounted for 1,552 votes — about 19 percent of the total cast.

“Another benefit is that we’re down to the last two,” Sawyer said. “We actually have the time to devote to them and really accomplish that.”

Sawyer said both candidates readily agreed to the debate. It is being sponsored by the Lewiston Rock the Vote Facebook group and Sawyer said she will be a moderator.

“I have not confirmed with other moderators,” she said. “We are kind of flying by the seat of our pants. I have no concerns with moderating on my own and I assume that’s how it’s going go but I may ask somebody else to co-moderate.”

Sawyer and the group are taking questions for the candidates via the Facebook page and via email. Questions can be sent to Sawyer directly at [email protected].

[email protected]

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