AUBURN — In a surprising announcement, three-term Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said Monday he will not seek re-election in November. 

The news came during the first day that nomination papers for the municipal election became available in Auburn. Positions include mayor, seven City Council seats, and seven School Committee seats.

Asked if he has plans to run for other political office, LaBonte joked, “Emily’s Run,” referring to a local 5K road race on July 23. 

Attempts to get further comment from LaBonte about the decision on Monday were unsuccessful. 

But while LaBonte appears to be bowing out, there are at least two mayoral candidates already intending to run for the seat. 

Jason Levesque, CEO of Argo Marketing in Lewiston, and Adam Lee, a city councilor, took out nomination papers Monday and confirmed to the Sun Journal that they intend to run. 

Levesque, who last ran for political office seven years ago when he lost a bid for U.S. Congress, announced his mayoral bid via Facebook on Monday.

“I am excited to take the next step in helping my community,” he said, adding, “I am looking forward to talking with many of my neighbors and friends over the next few months, and to let them know my vision for a stronger, safer, and smarter Auburn!” 

Levesque, a resident of Youngs Corner Road, said he’s a third-generation Auburn resident, and is raising a fourth.

“I’ve come to the realization that Auburn is at a crossroads,” he said. “We can remain on the current course and stay mediocre, or grasp the future and properly plan for it.”

He did say, however, that the current mayor and City Council have done good work, but that he believes he can help the city turn a corner with his help and knowledge of economic development.

He said that while many consider the role of mayor to be largely ceremonial, he believes it can be a position of influence on people and businesses who are looking to relocate. 

For Lee, who was elected in June as the Ward 4 city councilor in a special election, the mayoral bid is a quick turnaround.

He said Monday that he ran in order to serve out the remainder of the term, and since then, has been “engaged in an ongoing dialogue with residents on how best to restore trust and transparency to Auburn Hall.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as a city councilor, and I will be working hard to make the most of the next five months in that capacity,” he said. “When my term is over, it is my earnest hope that the residents of Auburn would like me to continue to serve them as mayor. I will be spending the next several months going door-to-door and listening to everyone on how I can most effectively serve the city.”

Levesque and Lee were collecting signatures Monday. 

City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said only two people took out papers Monday for mayor. There were others who collected papers to run for other seats, including City Council at-large.

At-Large Councilor Grady Burns announced that he will also not seek re-election. 

Burns, elected at age 25, is the youngest person to hold citywide office in Auburn’s history. He said he’ll be attending the University of Maine School of Law in the fall on a merit scholarship. 

“The decision to step back from the important work of the City Council is not one that I make lightly, but one that I believe is in the best interest of my constituents as I dive into my first year of law school this fall,” he said in a news release Friday. 

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Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte speaks last year during a joint workshop with Lewiston officials. LaBonte said Monday that he will not seek a fourth term as mayor. 

Jason Levesque of Auburn speaks during a news conference for his business, Argo Marketing, in July 2015. Levesque took out nomination papers Monday and intends to run for mayor. 

Adam Lee, Ward 4 city councilor, intends to run for mayor of Auburn in November. 

The following is a breakdown of municipal election info in Auburn:

The City Council and School Committee have one representative from each of the five city wards, as well as two at-large positions. The mayor is elected at-large.

All positions are for a two-year terms, which commence within 45 days of election. All candidates must be 18 years of age and a registered voter in Auburn.

Candidates for mayor must submit nomination papers signed by not less than 100 qualified registered voters of Auburn.

Persons interested in the at-large seat on the council or School Committee must submit completed nomination papers signed by not less than 25 qualified voters of Auburn.

Candidates for all ward positions must submit nomination papers signed by not less than 25 qualified voters of Auburn from the ward.

Completed nomination papers must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office no later than 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. All candidates are requested to file their nomination papers early in order to provide sufficient time to obtain additional signatures if necessary.

The municipal election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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