The Republican mayor of the second largest city in Maine has resigned in disgrace on Friday morning after leaked emails and texts showed he called elderly black people “antique farm equipment,” The Sun Journal reports.
Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard stepped down after Heather Everly Berube, who alleged to have had an affair with Bouchard during his campaign, leaked the private messages containing the racist joke.
“All my jokes are quite racist lol,” he reportedly said in a text, later adding: “What do you call 2 old black people sitting on your front lawn.”
“Antique farm equipment,” he said.
“Yikes,” Berube wrote back.
This is one of the screenshots released last night by Heather Berube of her conversations with Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard.
— Kiernan Majerus-Collins (@thekiernanmc) March 7, 2019
Berube released that explosive text exchange, as well as more than 150 additional texts, she shared with Bouchard on Wednesday, according to the paper.
The Hill notes:
The exchange involving the racist joke also reportedly came roughly two months before internal emails from Bouchard’s opponent in the past election, Ben Chin, were made public.
In one of those emails, Chin said he had encountered “a bunch of racists” while campaigning. Chin’s comments were reportedly considered divisive by some and partly cost him the race, according to the local paper. Berube, who had previously volunteered for Chin’s campaign, also said that she was a source of the internal emails obtained by the Maine GOP to attack Bouchard’s Democratic opponent.