PressHerald | Since Friday, many lawmakers, including a growing listnumber of Republicans, have called on the governor to seek professional treatment. Democratic leaders have asked him to resign. Senate Republican leaders said Monday that they met with the governor to discuss “corrective action.”
Westbrook’s Mayor Colleen Hilton, a Democrat, was among many who condemned the governor’s recent words and actions. Along with City Council President Brendan Rielly and School Committee Chairman James Violette, Hilton last week addressed an “Open Letter to the People of Maine.”
“Once more Governor LePage has humiliated himself and the Office of the Governor,” it read. “He continues to again embarrass the citizens of this wonderful state. Unfortunately, the current target of his inappropriate outbursts is Drew Gattine, a respected member and leader of our community, the City of Westbrook, and a highly respected member of the Maine State Legislature.
“Drew Gattine is what we want in a Maine leader. He is totally dedicated to helping others, has integrity and a strong ethical compass, is willing to lead with humor and humility, is articulate and is open to dialogue with those who disagree with him.”
Rielly also confirmed that the town hall had been canceled and said that a rally for decency was scheduled for Riverside Park at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Westbrook, a mostly blue-collar mill city of about 18,000 residents, has seen its demographic makeup shift in recent years. Many immigrants and refugees have settled in the city, in large part because of affordable housing, and recent events have created racial and ethnic tension.
After it was learned this month that Adnan Fazeli – an Iranian refugee who became an Islamic State radical – had lived in Westbrook, Muslims in the same housing complex were targeted with anonymous typed notes that read, “All Muslims are Terrorists should be Killed.”
Westbrook, like many communities, also has been hit hard by the heroin and opiate epidemic. Following a rash of overdose calls, the city’s police department accepted an offer by Maine’s attorney general to equip officers with more doses of the life-saving drug Narcan.
In 2014, Westbrook had 11,770 registered voters, made up of 38 percent Democrats, 22.9 percent Republicans, 4.5 percent independent and 34.6 unenrolled,according to the secretary of state. When LePage was re-elected in 2014, he received 41 percent of the votes cast in Westbrook.
House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, criticized LePage for wanting to schedule the town hall event in Gattine’s hometown.