WATERVILLE — Republican Andrew G. Roy has dropped out of the race for mayor after finding it difficult to gather signatures, he said Saturday.
He knocked on the doors of about 100 registered Republicans in Ward 1 for three hours on Thursday, he said, and only collected five petition signatures. He needed at least 105, across all seven wards, to get on the ballot for the Nov. 8 mayoral election.
“Most people don’t have time to even be home because they’re working, as far as Republicans go,” he said. “It’s just going to be a waste of time if I continue on at this point.”
It’s not that people don’t support him, he said, but that residents are frustrated with both country and city politics.
“Some of them told me to go to Congress and shoot them all because they are just screwing everybody,” he said. He clarified he had no violent intentions.
“They’ve given up,” he said. “It has nothing to do with me. It’s all to with how the city’s been run for many, many years.”
Roy, 37, owner of Andy’s DJ Service, was facing Democratic Mayor Dana Sennett in the race.
Sennett, 59, an advertising account executive for the Morning Sentinel, has been a councilor for 15 years, 10 of those as chairman. Sennett was opposed by Roy when he was elected mayor in June to fill the remainder of an unexpired term previously held by Paul LePage, who resigned to become Maine governor. November’s election is for the next complete term, which begins in January.
Roy has criticized the city council in the past and did so again on Saturday. “We’ve got weeds on some parts of the streets that are three feet tall, and they want to build a new police station and a new opera house, and it’s just really sickening,” he said.
He also recently posted an online video of a state police roadblock, calling it comparable to Nazi Gestapo training.
Roy videotaped the safety check July 25 on College Avenue and posted it on YouTube with a declaration that the methods are similar to those used by Adolf Hitler.
The YouTube video is labeled, “Police Safety Inspection or Gestapo Training?” A paragraph accompanying it says: “This is how Hitler used to do business isn’t it.”
On another page of his YouTube account is a photo of Roy wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood in front of a Confederate flag. Roy said he was ridiculing the Klan and its beliefs in the posting.
The state police safety check is not the first time Roy has criticized law enforcement.
When Roy ran unsuccessfully against Sennett for the unexpired mayor term in the June 14 election, he promised to work on police reform if elected and talk with the Waterville police chief about the department.
“The whole Gestapo thing’s got to be cut down,” Roy said at the time.
Roy contends that, even though police say road safety checks like the one conducted July 25 are legal, they violate the Fourth Amendment, prohibiting illegal search and seizure.
Roy’s YouTube video posting referring to Hitler and the Nazis, who killed millions of people during and before World War II, is followed by further comments critical of police.
“We need security not Policing & Harassing,” the posting says. “This is how they train New Police Officers here in Maine. This is what they call field training. They stop every vehicle to PROFILE each CITIZEN that is trying to drive home. If they THINK you have been doing something after sticking a flash light in your eyes and eyeballing your vehicle. Violation of human rights if you ask me or did we give them away already?”
Roy’s YouTube channel on which he posted the police video is called TheAndyNetwork. The police safety check video was posted under a “news events” label; he posted other information under an “entertainment” label.
Roy, in an interview, said he did not know why the photograph he posted of himself in a Klan hood and wearing sunglasses was still on the site, because he recently removed an accompanying video.
“That’s entertainment stuff — that’s not news,” Roy said of the Klan photo.
Roy said he is not a member of the Ku Klux Klan, nor does he adhere to the Klan philosophy.
“I was making fun of the Klan,” he said. “It’s a run-off of what they accused Ross Perot of years ago when he was running for president. People were questioning him, asking him if he was a member of the Klan.”
Both Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey and Col. Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police, object to Roy’s comparison of police methods to those of the Gestapo.
“All the comments about Nazis are just offensive to everyone, I think,” Williams said.
Massey said he has never spoken to Roy, and Roy has never asked to meet with him.
“I find it very offensive that he would call into question the reputation of the men and women of this department who are out there every day with a host of issues, working a very demanding and challenging job,” Massey said.
Williams said men and women learning to be troopers were being trained during the July 25 safety check. Police stopped 68 cars between 9:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. that night to check for proper lights and other issues related to safety, he said.
While the detail was not specifically intended to find drunken drivers, police did arrest two people on charges of operating under the influence, summoned one person for operating without a license, and issued 10 warnings for such things as expired inspection stickers, according to Williams.
“It was an opportunity for people being trained to get hands-on experience with instructors so they can learn the right way to do those things,” he said.
Medical marijuana user
When Roy ran for mayor in June, he said he was disabled and a medical marijuana patient. He became paralyzed from the neck down in 1992 from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that affects the nervous system. While Roy continues to be in a lot of pain, he is no longer paralyzed.
Roy said he filmed the state police video on July 25 after he attended the Republican City Committee caucus in Waterville, where he was chosen as the committee’s mayoral candidate, as well as committee chairman. Six people attended that caucus, at which Roy’s father, Patrick, was chosen as committee’s vice chairman.
Andrew Roy said he visited a friend in Benton after the caucus and came upon the police roadblock while returning home to Waterville.
“It scares people,” Roy said.
Williams, of the state police, said he thinks most people are glad that police conduct road safety checks.
“From our position, the whole road check was very successful,” he said. “The recruits got training they needed and we put two OUIs off the road.”
Massey said Roy also recently videotaped Waterville police catching a shoplifter they had chased. He said police have no problem with the videotaping, as long as the taping does not interfere with police work.
“If folks want to videotape us, that’s their right to do so,” Massey said. “They do so every day.”
As for Roy’s future, he said he plans to build up his DJ business and TheAndyNetwork. He also wants to publish an online newspaper.
He doesn’t currently employ anyone, but “that’s my whole goal, is to create jobs,” he said.
Saturday during a phone interview, he puffed on a cigarette and said he was OK with his decision not to run for mayor.
“I talked to my higher power, which is God,” he said. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”
Amy Calder — 861-9247
Erin Rhoda — 612-2368