LEWISTON — It looks like Republican district attorney candidate Neil McLean Jr. of Turner might not get a free ride after all.

Democratic lawyer Edward Rabasco Jr. of Poland announced Thursday that he is launching a write-in campaign for the June 14 primary to secure a spot on the November general election ballot.

Edward Rabasco Jr. Submitted photo

McLean, an assistant district attorney for Androscoggin County, had been the only candidate to step forward to run for the district attorney of Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties.

The job opened up this year when Democrat Andrew Robinson of Farmington stepped down to become a state judge.

McLean, who has been an assistant district attorney for 15 years, the last two in Androscoggin County handling serious felony cases, announced his candidacy in March.

Rabasco, a longtime trial attorney who practices in Lewiston, decided to challenge McLean rather than letting the race go uncontested.


“The District Attorney is in charge of seeing that justice for all is done in our courts, and I intend to do just that,” Rabasco said in a prepared statement. “The rights of all parties must be protected under the law.”

He hailed the job that Robinson did during his two terms as district attorney.

“He modernized the D.A.’s office into a more effective force for justice,” Rabasco said.

Neil McLean Jr. Sun Journal file photo

Rabasco grew up in Auburn and has lived in Poland since 1998, where he serves as a member of the Regional School Unit 16 Board of Directors. He is a past chairman of Lewiston’s Planning Board.

Rabasco needs to secure at least 300 write-in votes for the Democratic primary, which has no listed candidates, in order to claim a spot on the general election ballot.

Had he followed the traditional route for major party candidates to reach the ballot, Rabasco would have needed to gather at least 150 signatures on election petitions from registered voters in the three-county district, as McLean did.

When McLean announced his run, he said his goals and priorities include ensuring bail decisions are “anchored in public and victim safety,” reducing recidivism and “balancing the individual characteristics of each defendant while always maintaining integrity and transparency” of the District Attorney’s Office.

In his announcement, he stated, “I pledge to always be mindful that the district attorney is a public servant whose duty, obligation and ultimate goal should be the law, public safety, and the pursuit of justice on behalf of all the citizens I serve.”

McLean enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1988, serving with the 101st Airborne Division. He saw active duty in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. For the past 15 years, he served as a prosecutor in three districts as well as in the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

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