LEWISTON — Former City Councilor and School Committee member Luke Jensen has announced his candidacy for mayor in November’s election.

“I left the council in 2021 because I felt it was more important to focus on my students than it was to be part of a broken political system,” Jensen said in a campaign announcement. “We were on track to get charter reform when I left, but it never happened and now things are much worse. It feels like inmates are running the asylum here in the city.”

Citing increasing violence and a lack of accountability among elected officials, Jensen said he feels compelled to “push for the changes the community is demanding.”

He said due to the lack of accountability or political direction from officials, “city staff from police to public works regularly receive unfair criticism. We need a new era of cooperation, accountability and transparency among elected officials.”

Jensen said he is the only mayoral candidate to have worked on multiple budgets on both the city and the school sides, and that the city did not increase property taxes during his years on the City Council.

“With our limited tax base and already-too-high property taxes, we have to strike the right balance among the needs of the community,” he said.

When he was first appointed to fill a vacancy on the School Committee, Jensen moved to the Tree Streets neighborhood to get a better understanding of the issues facing downtown residents. Jensen has vowed to do so again if elected mayor.

“Lewiston is in the midst of several crises, and we need to start acting like it,” Jensen said. “I’m not afraid to tackle our problems head-on.”

Jensen has been involved in Lewiston civics since 2006. A fifth-generation Lewiston resident, he spent several years as an educator before returning to a career in banking.

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