The string of endorsements for Republican Gubernatorial frontrunner Mary Mayhew gained a major heavyweight on Wednesday morning as the Mayhew for Maine Campaign released an endorsement video from three-term Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald.
Macdonald, a longtime ally of Governor Paul LePage is well known for his direct, no-nonsense approach to fiscal discipline and welfare reform in his time overseeing Lewiston city government. The former Mayor had high praise for Mayhew in his endorsement:
“I like Mary because she stands up to people like I do and just like Paul LePage and Trump. She stands up to people and she doesn’t back down. If she believes in something, she’s going to go right to the end. That’s why I’m supporting her and when she’s Governor, I’m sure the state is going to be a lot better.”
In a city that traditionally elects liberal Democrats, Macdonald was elected to Mayor three times, most recently in 2015 when he was outspent 15 to 1 by Ben Chin, a progressive Democrat employed as a political organizer for the Maine People’s Alliance, a progressive political group. Chin was again defeated last fall by current Lewiston Mayor, Republican Shane Bouchard. Maine campaign finance filings indicate that Mayor Bouchard has also been supportive of the Mayhew for Maine Campaign.
“Lewiston struggled for many years under the control of old-school tax and spend Democrats, then Bob Macdonald came in and set a new direction for the city. I was happy to work with Mayor Macdonald because he was willing to withstand the attacks from the left that inevitably occur when you upset the status quo. In this case, the mission was to remove people from welfare that had clearly been defrauding the system.
“Our initial investigation concluded that over 15 percent of the individuals receiving public assistance in Lewiston were doing so fraudulently-that is a huge number and can wreak havoc on a municipal budget in a city that could be spending that money on infrastructure needs to support local businesses or to provide in-home meals for the elderly. I’m proud of the work Mayor Macdonald and I accomplished in Lewiston and I hope to work with Mayor Bouchard to continue these reforms as Maine’s next Governor.”
Mary Mayhew served as Commissioner of DHHS under Governor Paul LePage for 6.5 years with a focus on institution fiscal discipline in state government and returning integrity to Maine’s welfare programs. At last weekend’s Maine State Republican Convention, Mayhew made a strong showing in a preference poll showing support from 44.4 percent of the delegates with Shawn Moody receiving 27.8 percent, Garret Mason receiving 24.8 percent, and Ken Fredette receiving 2.8 percent.