It's official: Michaud wants to be governor

PORTLAND — Democratic U.S. Rep Mike Michaud ended speculation about his run for governor Wednesday when his campaign confirmed that he's entering the campaign with a formal announcement Thursday in Lewiston.

File photo

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, plans to announce his run for governor of Maine at noon Thursday at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston.

The five-term congressman, who has said he wants to restore civility to the Maine State House, has been raising money to challenge Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who's seeking re-election. Also in the race is independent Eliot Cutler, who lost a close race to LePage in 2010.

Michaud had no comment Wednesday, saving his remarks for a noon rally Thursday at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston, a Democratic stronghold.

The formal announcement sets up a three-way race between Cutler, LePage and a Democrat, the same scenario that propelled LePage to victory in the last election.

First, Michaud faces a primary challenge from Steve Woods, a Democratic businessman and Town Council chairman in Yarmouth.

Though he isn't a smooth-talking politician, Michaud will be a formidable candidate because he's a moderate Democrat with working-class roots and union support, said Sandy Maisel, a political science professor at Colby College.

"He is not charismatic. He's not terribly articulate. But one-on-one, and in small groups, he's very persuasive and people take him to be real," Maisel said. "People are looking for politicians who're real."

LePage's campaign insisted he's in the driver's seat, with a lead in internal polls.

"People appreciate that under his administration joblessness has gone down, thousands of jobs have been created, and he's fixing long-term debt and budget problems that have existed for years," said Brent Littlefield, the governor's senior political adviser.

Woods, who also wants to challenge LePage, said he welcomed Michaud to "a campaign process where I believe thoughtful solutions, positive collaboration and true statesmanship will prevail to the benefit of all Mainers."

When Michaud announced his exploratory committee, he made the comment about restoring civility at the State House, a veiled reference to the blunt-spoken LePage.

LePage has often made news for gaffes or missteps, the latest when he used a sexually vulgar phrase in June to describe how he believed a Democratic lawmaker was taking advantage of the people.

But that doesn't seem to matter to LePage's base of supporters.

Though some moderate Republicans may support the other candidates, the governor can expect to win at least a third of the vote based on his core conservative supporters regardless of what he says or does between now and the election, said Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine,

That's important in a three-way race, he said.

"Some Republicans may desert him and go to Cutler or Michaud," Maisel said. "But one thing that we learned four years ago is that you don't underestimate Paul LePage."

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Comments

Mike

Good luck Mike...I wish you the best...I wished that I was in Maine to help you with your campaign...

Bob Stone's picture

This is great

My earlier prediction is verifying. Dems bail out on Cutler to support Mike. Mike and Cutler split the "tax and spend" and "more welfare always" vote at about 30 points each. Lepage holds his 39 points. "Progressive" heads explode all across the Pine Tree State.

Mike is the gift that keeps on giving.

Jason Theriault's picture

No.

Here's the thing. I voted for Cutler last time because he had the best chance of beating LePage, because Libby Mitchell didn't have a chance. I will again vote for whoever is in the lead against LePage, which I think will be Michaud. I mean, he is a far better candidate than Mitchell, so I don't think Cutler will get the traction this time.

Michaud for Governor

Dream on Bob Stone; Lepage is a goner!

What 39%?

You really think he still has support from 39% of the voters? I have met too many who regretted voting for him to believe that.

Bob Stone's picture

Not going back

To the days of stiffing thE hospitals, graft that has appointed bureaucrats sitting in prison, slush funds at state agencies being used for political contributions, unbridled borrowing, rampant TANF, exploding MaineCare expenditures. If that is the Maine that most Maine people want once again, they deserve to get that government, good and hard.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Finally

Not only a chance to restore civility but common sense, and a candidate who believes in democracy and our Constitution. Frankly if he only demonstrated the ability to spit on his shoe he would be a huge improvement over the current place holder. Thankfully, he is experienced and has shown that he cares for the people of Maine and understands how to govern. For the first time in my life thanks to our current leader I have to say I am embarrassed to be French. I truly need for Mike to fix that . Go Mike !

Its too bad your embarrased

Its too bad your embarrased to be french, buts thats your right.. If Mainers think their taxes are high now, just wait until ole Mike
becomes Governor with a Democratic legislature. Hopefully Cutler and Michuad each pull 30-31% each.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Whoopie!

Lepage paid the hospitals with our tax dollars.
For the past three years all he has done is rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by shifting the tax burden from the state to local communities thus increasing the property taxes.
Please tell us what Lepage has done to reduce taxes?
By the way, Michaud 53%.

Where does the state get its

Where does the state get its money? Does it grow on trees?
Only liberals believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Free money!

AL PELLETIER's picture

Dennis

Please stop dodging the question. What has Lepage done to reduce taxes?

I never said Lepage reduced

I never said Lepage reduced taxes. I think he's really tried hard not to raise taxes, and to live within our means. If Michaud becomes Govern ,he will raise taxes, to deliver on all the promises he's going to make to get elected.

Ken Perry's picture

Please NO

This is not what the State needs, we are finally starting to pay the bills and trying to get a balanced budget, lets not throw it out and elect a Democrat. Like him or not Gov. Lepage is trying to balance the budget and do what is best for long term Maine. We need consistency and fiscal responsible leaders not just career politicians.

Michaud vs Lepage+ the budget

The budget was balanced on the backs of localalities,+ we the common citizen+our property taxesby eliminating state revenue sharing+other programs that aided middle class citizens; the bottom line is that is a tax increase, no matter what Lepage says, anyone could do that!

Ken Perry's picture

Fair

Bob, lets be fair, should the people who live in other parts of Maine have to pay for the Raises that "my community" votes for the School here?? That burden should be put on the local tax payer, and yes I do own my own home. To many times at meetings the boards refer to State money as "free money" and that is not responsible management. If the Towns have to start being responsible and taxpayers have to start paying more then maybe more people would get involved and budgets would be brought back to reasonable budgets. All to often they always present local budgets as " we only have to pay this percent and the State will pay the rest" that is not fair or is it right. Garland , Houlton, Fort Kent should not have pick up "generosity" of say Portland or Kittery, where is the incentive for any Towns to be frugal? Voting for Michaud is like voting huge pay raises for all the State workers and teachers union in Maine, and guess who pays that, us the middle class working citizen. So expand your welfare system, and back all the Unions and then do not cry when your property taxes go even higher.

Bob White's picture

Well

Well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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