LEWISTON, Maine - Ben Chin, the political engagement director for the Maine People's Alliance, has become the first candidate to announce he's running for mayor of Lewiston this November.
Speaking to a crowd at Museum LA in Lewiston Thursday night, Chin said he won't be alone in the race.
'What I am here today to announce is that I will put my name on the ballot so that WE can run for mayor," Chin said, to applause. "Together, we can create a vision that is bigger than any of us, that takes all of us to realize."
This is Chin's second run for the office. He lost a close race to current Mayor Robert MacDonald in 2015. This time MacDonald is termed out. And Chin says he plans to do things a little differently. To demonstrate his commitment to running what he calls "a people's campaign," Chin says he won't accept any contributions over $100.
"I believe in Clean Elections. I believe in getting money out of politics. And I believe that running a campaign on grassroots donations is the best way to make absolutely clear that we're going to practice what we preach," he said.
Two years ago Chin stunned his opponents by raising about $90,000 in campaign contributions, more than five times more than anyone else.
Chin says he plans to focus on Lewiston's housing needs, immigration integration and the opiate crisis in the election. He says he thinks there are small things that can be done to unify the community rather than continue to divide it and he plans to roll out those ideas over the next few months.