Video: Ben Chin on Lewiston election loss, building a larger movement

“This campaign was never about one person. It was always about building a movement that belonged to everyone,” said Ben Chin last night, reflecting on his 47%-53% loss in the Lewiston mayoral election to incumbent mayor Robert Macdonald.

“All of us knew we were taking on a two-term incumbent, who won by a twenty-point margin in 2013. We knew the campaign might get a little ugly, even if we always took the high road. We knew tonight might end this way,” said Chin.

The campaign, which saw personal attacks mocking Chin’s ethnicity and questioning his Christian faith, also saw some of the most interest in a local election in Lewiston’s history. Chin’s insurgent campaign found broad and passionate support locally, with dozens of volunteers pounding the pavement over the last few months to help get out the vote. His positive message also garnered interest from across the state and country and he raised tens of thousands of dollars in small contributions.

“People voted today that had never voted in their life. People knocked on doors who had never done anything political before. And we aren’t going anywhere,” said Chin. “We are going to back up the city council. We are going to pass referenda to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich to fully fund our schools. Everything that we’ve accomplished so far just makes those victories all the more likely.”

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