Shane Bouchard, the Republican mayor of Lewiston, Maine, has stepped down from his position following leaked emails exposing him for making racist jokes.
The Sun Journal reports that insensitive emails and texts from the former mayor of the second largest city in Maine were released by Heather Everly Berube. Berube claims to have had an affair with the disgraced mayor during the time of his campaign run. The Sun shared an exchange between Berube and Bouchard, in which he likened elderly Black people to “antique farm equipment.”
“All my jokes are quite racist lol,” Bouchard reportedly said in a text, following up with “What do you call 2 old black people sitting on your front lawn. Antique farm equipment.”
“Yikes,” Berube wrote back.
According to the newspaper, on Wednesday, the woman released the text exchange between her and Bouchard, as well as more than 150 additional texts. The racist remark was sent via text while the two were working together undermining a political opponent of Bouchard.
Bouchard apologized after the texts became public, claiming he says “stupid things and stupid jokes occasionally.” On Friday, he held a brief press conference to which he admitted he is “not a perfect person,” while blaming the media for making matters worse.
“It has become clear to me that the media does not acknowledge personal space and reports on nothing more than a rumor in many cases. In this political climate where the media does not discriminate between fact and rumors, it is hard to be a public figure,” he said.
Bouchard resigned from his position as mayor of Lewiston on Friday morning. His resignation is said to be effective immediately.