This photo posted to Christina Hughes’ campaign’s Facebook page claims the candidate had roles in local nonprofit organizations, which was disputed by representatives of those organizations. Hughes said her editor “embellished” her involvement with the organizations. 

BATH — Christina Hughes, the Republican candidate for the Maine House District 52 seat, said another person is responsible for  what she described as “embellishments” in campaign materials that misrepresented her involvement with local charitable organizations.

“The fact that it was embellished was through my editor and I take full responsibility,” said Hughes. “It’s my fault, I paid for it, and I take full responsibility for rushing through it and not reading it.”

Hughes declined to say who that editor was or detail their role in her campaign.

Hughes claimed to be the director of development and implementation for New Hope for Women, which supports people affected by domestic and dating violence and stalking in the Midcoast, in campaign materials posted on social media and in profile information submitted to newspapers.

She also claimed to act as the finance director for a local pet rescue organization and to have organized and sponsored a suicide awareness walk in Bath.

Representatives from those organizations refuted Hughes’ claims last week, insisting she does not hold a position at their nonprofits.

Campaign materials including the false roles still appeared on Hughes’ campaign Facebook page as of Wednesday afternoon.

Justin Burwinkel of Bath, who distributed a story by The Times Record on the misrepresentations to Bath voters, said he “felt duped” when he discovered Hughes’ credentials were embellished.

“It feels like lies, and it’s sad that it’s happening on a local level,” said Burwinkel. “How can this be so overlooked, when she posted that information multiple times? It amazed me that someone thought they could get away with falsifying what they do.”

Burwinkel said Hughes’ claims “seem like a slap in the face to someone who does that for their jobs.”

Guy Lebida, who serves as both chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Sagadahoc County Republican Committee, declined to comment Wednesday and claimed to have no knowledge of Hughes’ claims, which came to light late last week.

In a statement Wednesday, Will Neilson, chair of the Sagadahoc County Democratic Committee, said Hughes’ situation is “merely the local manifestation of what the Republican Party has become from top to bottom: a place where ‘alternative’ facts are preferred to real ones, and the truth does not matter.”

District 52 is the sole legislative district that represents Bath in the Maine House and has been represented by Sean Paulhus, a Bath city councilor, since 2019. The district is heavily Democratic. Paulhus defeated his opponent in the 2018 election, Kenneth Sener, 975-491.

Paulhus declined to comment Wednesday.

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