Lewiston Republican Mayor Shane Bouchard stepped down from his position as head of Maine’s second-largest city. Text messages between Bouchard and Heather Berube (née Everly), a woman who claims she had an affair with him during his mayoral campaign revealed a racist remark he sent her while they conspired to undermine an opponent.
From the Sun Journal:
“All my jokes are quite racist lol,” he said before adding, “What do you call 2 old black people sitting on your front lawn.”
“Antique farm equipment,” he answered.
“Yikes,” she wrote back.
Hours after a Wednesday interview with the Sun Journal concerning her affair with Bouchard, Berube made more than 150 text messages public. Many focus on their eventual liaisons, while others discuss family and politics.
The exchange between Bouchard and Berube happened in late 2017, months before the Maine Examiner published internal emails from Ben Chin, Bouchard’s opponent, who said he’d encountered a “bunch of racists” while campaigning. Bouchard won the race, which was decided a few days after the emails were made public.
Among Bouchard’s leaked texts, Berube told Bouchard that she was unfazed by an investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission into how Chin’s emails wound up in the hands of Maine Examiner owner Jason Savage. Bouchard told Berube that “the fact that you sent them to me and the fact that they ended up in the hands of the examiner (who I was unaware of who owned it until a week ago) does not break any laws anywhere. It really does not mean squat.”
“I got Chin a tie on election night,” Bouchard added. “I should have sent him a participation trophy.”
In another exchange, Boucher tells Everly that he would weigh his option concerning the city’s school committee chairman slot, insisting Boucher was his first option.
“I don’t need to be gifted,” Berube told Bouchard. “Whoever gets it should be best for the position.”
And, in a saucy moment between the two clandestine lovers, Bouchard asks Berube if she knows “a set of 20 year old blond twins” when asked how his night could improve.
Thursday, Boucher apologized after his exchange became public, insisting he was not racist and that the comments were not indicative of how he felt about black people.
“I say stupid things and stupid jokes occasionally,” he said.
Bouchard will have plenty of time to work on his standup routine while collecting unemployment.