Mark Cayer Credit: Caitlin Andrews / BDN

Lewiston Mayor Mark Cayer announced Tuesday that he will not seek a second term, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Cayer has served as mayor for a year and a half, and cited the difficulties caused by the pandemic as a reason for leaving office.

“The time commitment in becoming mayor is extensive and it’s been a challenging year and a half overall,” he told the newspaper. “Being in office for a couple of months, and suddenly being in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, that was a lot.”

Prior to his tenure as mayor, Cayer served for more than a decade in various positions in public office. A former police officer, he also runs a small private investigation business.

In 2019, Cayer was the first Democrat-backed candidate to win the seat in 10 years, beating out two other candidates.

In past years, the Lewiston mayor’s races have been hotly contested. The campaigns in 2015 and 2017 featured high-dollar, losing campaigns between progressive activist Ben Chin and conservatives, which became messy proxy wars between state parties.

Less than two weeks before being elected mayor, Cayer admitted to hitting a pedestrian on a crosswalk with his car. A video obtained by the Bangor Daily News shows the crash.

Nomination papers for local offices are available July 6. Cayer made the decision public before the submissions opened to encourage people to run, he said.

All seats for City Council, School Committee and mayor are up for election in November, the newspaper reported.

Matt Berg

Matt is a senior at UMass Amherst, studying journalism and history. Before joining the Bangor Daily News, he was the managing editor of his student newspaper and interned at the Boston Globe.