Lewiston mayoral candidate diagnosed with cancer dies

Posted Dec. 09, 2011, at 2:30 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 09, 2011, at 3:15 p.m.
Mark Paradis
Jose Leiva | Sun Journal
Mark Paradis

LEWISTON, Maine — Mark Paradis, a candidate in a two-way mayoral runoff election, has died, a spokesman for his campaign said.

Paradis, 59, announced Wednesday he was battling cancer but did not disclose what kind. He had been undergoing radiation treatments for the cancer, he said Wednesday.

A release issued by his campaign stated he died at Central Maine Medical Center due to complications from pneumonia.

Paradis’ wife, Ronnie, along with other family members and friends were with him at the time of his death, according to the statement issued by campaign spokesman Michael Dumas.

Paradis’ name will still be on the ballot Tuesday and about 1,000 absentee ballots had been cast, according to City Clerk Kathy Montejo.

Montejo said the city’s attorney had been contacted for advice on the election. It was unclear until the city hears from its attorney whether the election will proceed or not.

“One thought is that we are not giving the citizens a true choice, with one candidate,” Montejo said. “Other people say [Robert] Macdonald is still a valid candidate. I could almost argue both sides.”

Also on the ballot is Macdonald. Paradis and Macdonald were the top two in a five-way race for mayor in November but the city charter requires the winning candidate for mayor to receive at least 50 percent of the vote or more to be declared the winner, which is what prompted the runoff election.

A release issued by Montejo said City Council President Renee Bernier would be holding a press conference in the City Council Chambers at City Hall at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Bernier would be issuing a statement on behalf of the Paradis family, according to that release.

Montejo said she was saddened by the news.

“Mark was an exceptional public servant,” Montejo said. “So is his wife, for that matter.”

A release issued by Paradis’ campaign spokesman Michael Dumas stated, “The Paradis family has requested privacy while they grieve during this immeasurably sad time.”

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