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Portland Press Herald wants gubernatorial candidate to stop using fake front pages

Republican Mary Mayhew announced her candidacy for governor of Maine on Tuesday.
Republican Mary Mayhew announced her candidacy for governor of Maine on Tuesday.(Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine newspaper is objecting to the use of its logo on campaign posters modeled after real newspapers, but carrying fake headlines.

The Portland Press Herald reports that its lawyer has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Republican Mary Mayhew, who announced her candidacy for governor Tuesday.

At the campaign kickoff, posters lauding the business climate in Maine were made to look like the front pages of the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston Sun Journal and the Bangor Daily News.

The Press Herald said the fabricated headlines are especially problematic at a time when politicians make accusations of ‘‘fake news.’’ Said Cliff Schechtman, the newspaper’s executive editor: “This is a misappropriation of our name and creates confusion for some who might think we are endorsing her campaign.”

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But the Sun Journal’s editor said she was ‘‘tickled,’’ taking the stunt as an implicit affirmation of her newspaper’s trustworthiness.

Mayhew’s campaign declined to comment.