LEWISTON — Former Lewiston Police Chief Bill Welch has announced his candidacy for Maine Senate District 21, which covers the city of Lewiston.

Welch, who will run as a Republican against incumbent Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, made the announcement in a news release on Tuesday.

Welch joined the Lewiston Police Department following his four years of service in the Air Force, rising to the rank of chief during a career that spanned 30 years, the release stated.

Following his retirement from the police force, Welch stayed active in the Lewiston community. He is the current owner of Pedro O’Hara’s, a restaurant in downtown Lewiston.

“Community service is in my blood; I simply enjoy helping people,” Welch said in the statement. “As a police officer, I sometimes saw the worst in people, but I often saw the best, as well. The people of Lewiston are hard-working and generous and deserve the best representation possible in Augusta. I believe my experience will provide them with that.

“The state of Maine has benefited from Republican leadership through low unemployment and tax policies that benefit the middle class,” Welch said. “But much more needs to be done in order to make us more business-friendly and competitive. I’m ready to be part of the solution and would be honored to serve the people of Lewiston in Senate District 21.”

Last week, Welch turned in more than the required number of signatures needed to appear on the Republican ballot for the Maine State Senate, the release stated.

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