Oct. 31—LEWISTON — A Lewiston candidates forum slated for Wednesday is being postponed after candidates said they planned to attend the rescheduled Battle of the Bridge football game between Lewiston and Edward Little high schools.
The game is at 6 p.m. at Lewiston High School, 156 East Ave.
Jenna Dela Cruz Vendil, associate director of democratic engagement and student activism at the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College, said she has been working with the other organizations involved to reschedule.
She said organizers were able to secure a rescheduled date of Thursday, Nov. 2. As of Wednesday, several candidates had told forum organizers that they will attend Thursday.
She said once confirmation is received, they will update the promotional materials.
The forum, organized by the Harward Center, the Community Organizing Alliance, Maine Students Vote, and Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition, was slated to take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Muskie Archives at 70 Campus Ave. It is the only candidate forum organized in Lewiston prior to the Nov. 7 election.
A statement posted on social media early Tuesday by Lewiston City Councilor Bob McCarthy said, "As city leaders and citizens of Lewiston, it is imperative that we stand together, grieve together and honor our loved ones together at Wednesday night's game. We hope that, as part of this community, Bates College will consider postponing the candidate forum and join us, as well as all candidates, as we stand together at the game in solidarity as 'Lewiston Strong.'"
McCarthy's statement was co-signed by what appeared to be all Republican candidates for local office.
In response to the post, School Committee Chairwoman Megan Parks said Bates College was already working to reschedule the forum prior to the release of McCarthy's statement.
Several other candidates said they were not contacted by McCarthy to be included in the joint statement, but agreed that the forum should be postponed.
"If there is no 'solidarity' or even communication with the folks you have to work with to make decisions for the benefit of the city as a whole, how and what exactly are you leading, and for whom?" asked Ward 1 council candidate Josh Nagine.
Asked Tuesday, Mayor Carl Sheline said he had already been in contact with the Harward Center earlier in the day.
"I simply placed a phone call to the Harward Center, expressed regret that I couldn't make it because of the game and wished them a wonderful day," he said. "This overdone letter could have been an email."
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