2016-10-24 / Front Page

Republican State Rep 15 Candidate Mark Bedell Arraigned on Assault Charge

York County GOP Chairman asks Bedell to withdraw Candidacy
By LIZ GOTTHELF
Staff Writer

SACO — York County Republican Chairman is asking Republican House District 15 Candidate Mark Bedell to withdraw his candidacy in light of his arrest Sunday night for aggravated assault.

Bedell, 50, was arrested around 9:45 p.m. Sunday after police in Saco received a call from a 42-year-old woman that a friend, Bedell, had assaulted her earlier that evening at his 85 Watson Mills Road home. Bedell was arraigned at Springvale District Court by video conference Monday afternoon.

No plea was entered. Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz set his bail at $2,500 and ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim.

Few details of the incident were revealed at the hearing. Assistant District Attorney Tanya Pierson-Sweeney said though Bedell had no criminal background, attempted strangulation was a serious offense.

Bedell is currently running against Margaret "Maggie" O'Neil for House District 15, covering part of Saco.

"Republicans and I personally have no tolerance for domestic abuse. We also note that this is Domestic Violence Awareness Month," said York County Republican Chairman Jim Booth in a statement. "There is no excuse for what Mr. Bedell is alleged to have done. We call on him to immediately withdraw his candidacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his victim and her family."

Republican Michael Coleman, who is running for House District 13 covering Old Orchard Beach, said he has "zero tolerance" for domestic violence. "It's inexcusable," he said. "I think he should withdraw."

Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett said in a statement the party takes domestic violence very seriously, and the allegations against Bedell are deeply disturbing. "It is for this reason that we urge Mr. Bedell to drop out of the race for House District 15 immediately. There is no place in our party for this sort of behavior, said Bennett. "We encourage Mr.Bedell to step aside, to seek whatever help he needs personally in this matter, and to let the justice system work."

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