AUGUSTA, Maine — Mark Bedell of Saco, a Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, was arrested Sunday on a felony Class B charge of aggravated assault, according to an intake officer at the York County Jail.
The officer did not have specifics about the arrest but said Bedell is being held without bail and is due for arraignment Monday afternoon.
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, called for Bedell to withdraw from the District 15 race immediately.
“I strongly condemn the actions of Mark Bedell,” said Fredette in a written statement. “As someone who has sponsored and worked hard to pass legislation to deal with domestic violence, I find the report of his conduct to be reprehensible. I strongly urge him to publicly withdraw as a candidate for the Maine Legislature and we are all praying for his wife and family.”
Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Bennett echoed Fredette’s call for Bedell to drop out of the race.
“There is no place in our party for this sort of behavior,” said Bennett in a written statement. “We encourage Mr. Bedell to step aside, to seek whatever help he needs personally in this matter, and to let the justice system work.”
The Saco Police Department made the arrest. In a news release, Saco Chief Bradley S. Paul said officers were dispatched to Bradley Street in Saco about 9:45 p.m. Sunday after a report of a domestic assault. A 42-year-old woman reported that a male friend, Bedell, had assaulted her at his home at 85 Watson Mills Road earlier in the evening.
Bedell, 50, is running against Democrat Margaret O’Neil of Saco for the seat. The District 15 seat is currently occupied by Democratic Rep. Justin Chenette, who is abandoning the seat to run for the Maine Senate.
According to his online biography, Bedell is a theater enthusiast and former employee for the Children’s Theater of Maine and the Krackerjack Theatre Company. He remains involved in numerous show business pursuits. Bedell claims in his biography that he was urged to run for the seat by the Maine Republican Party and Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
LePage’s office did not respond to questions from the Bangor Daily News.