Maine mayor resigns over racist joke comparing black people to farm equipment
The mayor of Maine’s second-largest city has resigned amid a controversy over leaked text messages, one of which was a racist joke about black people.
Republican Shane Bouchard stepped down as mayor of Lewiston on Friday after a woman who said she had an affair with him leaked over 150 text messages.
According to the Sun Journal, Bouchard sent the woman a text message saying, “What do you call 2 old black people sitting on your front lawn.”
He then sent the follow-up: “Antique farm equipment.”
“Yikes,” she replied.
The woman, Heather Berube Everly, told the Sun Journal that Bouchard sent the text while the two were working together to undermine Bouchard’s Democratic rival Ben Chin.
A website created by Maine Republican Party leader Jason Savage published emails from Chin’s campaign, including one in which Chin said he ran into “a bunch of racists.”
Bouchard went on to defeat Chin in a December 2017 runoff.
In a press conference Friday, Bouchard apologized for the content of his messages, saying that he says “stupid things and stupid jokes occasionally.”
He also attacked the news media for disrespecting his personal space.
— With files from the Associated Press
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