WATERVILLE — Republican Andrew Roy faked dropping out of the race for mayor, he said Monday.
“NOT REALLY DROPPING OUT,” he posted on his Facebook page and at the bottom of the online version of the Morning Sentinel news article on Sunday about him leaving the race.
The 37-year-old Ticonic Street resident said Monday that he is still running in what has become a three-way race. The co-founder of a local nonprofit for girls is now in the campaign.
Standing in his driveway, while filming a reporter, Roy said he never had any intention to drop out.
He did not provide a direct answer when asked several times whether saying one thing and doing another might hurt his chance of becoming mayor.
Residents “have a lot of concerns about this town,” he said, including actions by police and reporters.
In a post on his Facebook page after Monday’s interview, he wrote, “I figured out they were going to only write bad news about me so Told (sic) the News Paper (sic) that I was dropping out so I could have some good news printed on what I would like to see.”
Roy, owner of Andy’s DJ Service, is facing Democratic Mayor Dana Sennett in the race.
Karen Heck, who is unenrolled, also took out nomination papers, City Clerk Arlene Strahan confirmed Monday. Heck is co-creator of the nonprofit organization Hardy Girls, Healthy Women. In June she organized a rally outside City Hall to stop domestic violence.
Efforts to reach her Monday were unsuccessful.
Sennett, 59, an advertising account executive for the Morning Sentinel, has been a councilor for 15 years, 10 of those as chairman.
Roy lost to Sennett in the June election for mayor to fill the unexpired term of Paul LePage, who resigned to become Maine governor. November’s election is for the next complete term, which begins in January.
Petition signatures are due by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, Strahan said. Only candidates that gather enough signatures are put on the ballot.
Roy originally said he was having difficulty gathering the 15 to 25 signatures needed from each of the city’s seven wards. In three hours of knocking on doors he only got five signatures, he said on Saturday.
On Monday he said he has not collected more signatures, but he plans to in the coming weeks.
Sennett said he has been gathering signatures from both Democrats and Republicans and has more than half the required number.
“I’m pretty confident that I’ll win in November,” he said. “Everybody I’ve asked has said, ‘I’ll be glad to endorse you as mayor.'”
He said Roy is not a responsible candidate, and does not have the “experience or the knowledge of the operation of the city.”
Several North End neighborhood residents on Monday said they would not vote for Roy. Resident Nancy Emery said she might vote for Heck or Sennett but that Roy does not have the needed political experience.
Erin Rhoda — 612-2368