LEWISTON — City Councilor Shane Bouchard has officially entered the Lewiston mayoral race.

Bouchard turned in more than 100 verified signatures Wednesday afternoon, just one day after pulling nomination papers.

“It’s certainly a testament to the energy behind this campaign,” Bouchard said, “but as the day progressed it became quite apparent that voters across Lewiston were happy that there was finally a conservative in the race.”

Although Bouchard identifies as a conservative, he has promised to put “people before politics” in his bid for the mayor’s office.

“I’m a steward to the residents and businesses of Lewiston first,” Bouchard said in a written statement. “I need to be able to work with elected officials from both sides of the aisle to make sure our city is in the best possible position to succeed. My record on the City Council shows a clear ability to adapt, negotiate and refine positions, work to find common ground and ultimately make the best decisions for the taxpayer without compromising core conservative values.”

Bouchard is the sixth person to enter the race. The other mayoral candidates are Mark Cayer, Charles Soule, Ron Potvin, Ben Chin and Donna Gillespie.

“We need a mayor who will not only be a champion for Lewiston but be honest about what we are facing and how we are working to make it a better place,” Bouchard wrote in his statement. “Lewiston is a great city saddled with an image problem. The failure to tackle problems head-on while pretending they don’t exist has created false narratives and hindered the pace of Lewiston’s renaissance. We can choose to paint Lewiston only in flowery Utopian accolades, but we’ll make more headway by acknowledging the challenges and providing true plans of action to address them.”

Bouchard was born in Lewiston, attended Montello Elementary School and later graduated from Dirigo High School in Dixfield. He has lived in Lewiston for the past 18 years, living on Perley Street in the home that his grandfather, a 38-year city employee, originally purchased in 1958. Shane and his wife, Allison, own a small lawn care company and Maine Home Recreation, both based in Lewiston.

“I’ve always had a real connection to Lewiston and my neighborhood,” Bouchard said. “I chose the campaign slogan #BelieveinLewiston, because I do.”

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