Lewiston & Auburn Merger Voted Down by Wide Margin

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ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY, Maine (WMTW) - Residents of Lewiston and Auburn voted down a proposed merger Tuesday by a combined margin of more than 8,000 votes.

Opponents of the merger called it a statement win.

Both cities will now remain separate.

Election officials said turnout was at or above average in many wards -- likely because of the merger question.

Supporters of the merger said it would save millions in municipal expenses.

"In the end we had the people and the people just didn't subscribe to this, they never have," said Jim Howaniec, opponent of the merger. "Something that has been discussed for over a century in this community since way back in the late 1800's and its always been shot down and why they thought it would be any different this time around, they never understood."

"At the very least we got people's attention," said Gene Geiger of the One L/A Campaign. "And oh my goodness, everyone's been talking about this everyday everywhere. So at least we have made this into something important for the community."

Leading members of the "One L/A Now" campaign say they have no plans to pursue the merger any further.

The last successful municipal merger in Maine was Dover-Foxcroft back in 1922.