The Mayor of Waterville has drawn statewide attention for twerking on TikTok, but his penchant for posting spicy content on the Chinese video app may have crossed the line last month.
In a June 2 video, Mayor Jay Coelho attacked right-wing activist Nick Blanchard, 33, of Augusta, for criticizing a so-called drag queen story hour event that had been scheduled for a Waterville book store.
“Tomorrow, [Blanchard is] going to protest the Book Cellar as part of a group called ‘Patriots With Attitude’ — although he’s never served. I mean, other than time. Did he stab a kid? That’s kind of weird,” said Coelho.
@therealmainemayor Replying to @mainemom78 #greenscreen oh I'll be there for sure, look for the rainbow pumas #storytime #storyhour #lgbtq #pridemonth #lgbtqia #mayor #waterville #mayor #watervillemaine #lesbian #gay #trans #nonbinary #human #rainbowfamily #fafo #protest #support #drag #dragqueen ♬ original sound – Maine Mayor
Although the mayor poses it as a question, he was obviously leading his 54,600 followers to believe that Blanchard, with whom he’d been feuding on social media, was a violent criminal.
However, the mayor appears to have mistaken two Mainers identities because they have the same name.
Nicholas Blanchard, of Scarborough, pleaded guilty in 2018 to stabbing a 15-year-old high school student.
“That’s not me,” said the Nick Blanchard targeted by the mayor, in a phone interview with the Maine Wire.
The other Blanchard lives in Scarborough, is about ten years younger, and looks completely different than the Blanchard the mayor was mocking on TikTok.
Blanchard said his only brush with the law was a marijuana charge several years ago in Georgia.
Coelho made the inaccurate allegation after Blanchard had earlier approached him in public to grill him over his support for the drag queen story hour.
“If this was LePage when he was the mayor, it be the frontpage news in every paper,” said Blanchard.
Coelho did not respond to an email last week seeking comment for this story.
As of Friday, the video of him falsely suggesting Blanchard stabbed a kid is still available on his TikTok page.
In another video, which Blanchard has posted to Rumble, Coelho implied that Blanchard is a klansman.
Blanchard said he’s considering what legal remedies may be available to him, as he believes the mayor defamed him maliciously.
Things haven’t always been so acrimonious between the two men. An instagram post from 2021 shows them shaking hands and enjoying beers.