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Lewiston city council candidate Follett drops out of race

A large field of candidates for Lewiston City Council shrank by one Tuesday as Greg Follett dropped out of the race five days after it emerged that he purchased cocaine in 2016.

Follett said last week that he would continue his campaign, but the city council removed him from his position on the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission on Monday night, and Councilor Jesse Maldonado called for his withdrawal from the race.

Follett notified the Lewiston Tribune on Tuesday that he decided to stop seeking one of four open seats on the council.

“It’s just the right thing for me to do at this point,” he said, declining further comment.

Follett filed paperwork with the city clerk’s office to formally remove himself from the race. However, Nez Perce County Auditor-Recorder Patty O. Weeks said he missed the Sept. 23 deadline to withdraw, and his name has been printed on ballots.

“We’ve already had people voting,” Weeks said. “Absentees have already been coming in, so it’s too late. He’s on the ballot. He’s going to get votes.”

A police report in the court file for Henry Gallegos Jr. details events of July 7, 2016, when Lewiston officers stopped Follett’s car on Thain Road and found him to be in possession of about one-eighth of an ounce of cocaine.

Prosecutors didn’t charge Follett because he cooperated with the investigation into Gallegos, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of distribution of cocaine. Gallegos is set for sentencing on Oct. 25.

The remaining candidates for city council are Kevin Kelly, Steve Martin, Kathy Schroeder, Steve Lear, John Pernsteiner, Kimberly Tolson and incumbents Bob Blakey and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Collins.

Maldonado and fellow Councilor Ryan “RJ” Johnson are not seeking re-election on Nov. 7.