Cutler announces run for Maine governor

Brian Feulner/Bangor Daily News

Independent Eliot Cutler announces is candidacy for governor in Bangor.

BANGOR — Independent candidate Eliot Cutler returned to his hometown to announce that he is again running for governor in 2014.

“I am running because we need to move Maine forward, and the best way forward is neither left nor right, but straight ahead,” Cutler said Tuesday morning at the Cross Insurance Center, surrounded by family and supporters. “I ask you to join me on an independent path, one that starts with a clear vision of Maine’s future and a real plan — a real plan — for growth and opportunity.”

Cutler also ran for governor as an independent in the 2010 gubernatorial race, finishing second to Republican Paul LePage with 35.9 percent of the vote compared with LePage’s 37.6 percent.

Stopping the brain drain and keeping educated young people, such as City Councilor Ben Sprague who announced him, in Maine and attracting others to the state are keys to a successful future, Cutler said.

He said he outlined his plans for education, government, health care, the economy and election reform in a book he released last week, “A State of Opportunity: A Plan to Build a Healthier, Smarter, Stronger, Younger and More Prosperous Maine,” that is also posted on his website,

“You can download it from the website and it’s free,” Cutler said of his plan.

Cutler is running against LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud, who is currently a U.S. representative for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Campaign workers and supporters of LePage and Michaud were quick to respond to Cutler officially entering the race.

Cutler’s “book, and his campaign offer the same glossed-over liberal ideas that failed Maine for decades,” said Brent Littlefield, a political adviser and LePage 2014 consultant.

“We believe — and the polls confirm — that Congressman Michaud is the strongest candidate in the governor’s race and the clear alternative to Governor LePage,” Lizzy Reinholt, spokeswoman for Michaud said Tuesday. “He has the vision, experience, and commitment to get the state back on track and his bipartisan, middle class record ensures that working families will have a voice in the Blaine House.”

Jason Savage, Maine Republican Party executive director, described Cutler as a “liberal Washington D.C. lawyer” and Michaud as “an obscure Congressman.”

“Voters can choose one of two liberal candidates with heavy ties to Washington D.C., or a successful businessman and governor with a proven track record of success,” Savage said.

Cutler said he respects the political skills of both his opponents, “but I do not believe that either has offered to Maine voters the kind of plan that Maine needs — and that voters deserve.”

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David  Cote's picture

There are two big differences between 2014 and 2010...

First, Mike Michaud is, by light years, a much more formidable candidate now then Libby Mitchell was in 2010. Second, We didn't really know who Paul LePage was in 2010. We got glimpses and sound bites during his campaign, but those snipets don't come close in comparison to the actions and words we have heard, read about and seen since he took office. And this time around I don't see the moderate vote siding with Cutler as much as in 2010 because Cutler's democratic ideals are wrapped in the independent label. Michaud comes from the working class and has carried the veterans of this state in highest regard. I believe Michaud will carry 42% which will be enough to put him in the Blaine house.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Well laid out, Dave. I was going to say similar, that Pauly is that large fish with a big mouth that has exposed himself and drank the water and will get caught and fried.

David  Cote's picture

Mike's a straight-forward gentleman...

I have voted for Michaud every time he has run. Mike Michaud kind of reminds me of the guy who was my all-time favorite Governor of Maine ; Joe Brennan. Joe was savvy, hip, "with it", very intelligent and got his point across in a firm, yet respectful way. I believe Mike Michaud has similar qualities. He also looks like a pool player, like Governor Joe...he's a damn good pool player.

 's picture

Two Fine Men, Cutler and Michaud

30% for Eliot and 30% for Mike would be just fine for Maine.

It will be very interesting to see Eliot and Mike go after each other. One of them has to move the other off of 30% to win. It will be liberal against liberal. Will they try to personally drag each other down into the mire? Or will they try to out-liberal each other. Grand claims, like "a chicken in every pot for everyone!--- free! free! free!"

We knuckle draggers in the Lepage camp will come out and vote for Paul once again. His 39% aren't going anywhere. We are too stupid to vote for a sophisticated DC lawyer or a great guy who is, after all, "one of us." We shop at Mardens, after all.

So, let the battle begin. Liberal against liberal. Wind against wind. Taxes against taxes. Program against program. Great political theater, indeed!

Governor, just take care of your 39% and everything will be just fine. The more they attack, the stronger your base becomes. A good start? Make the liberals balance their 2014-2015 budget. Watching that will be a hoot!

Not gonna happen.

Eliot split the vote because Libby was a terrible choice, and many changed their minds at the last minute. The prime reason he didn't win was the early voters who admitted after the fact that they would have voted for Eliot if they'd waited. Mike doesn't have this problem. Many of those who may have planned to vote for Eliot again before Mike announced are rethinking their plan. I am in that category.

And if you knuckle-draggers really think that your man will get the same 39% he got last time, you're dreaming. Maybe 30-35% if he's lucky. He has pissed off far to many in the moderate (and intelligent) wing of his own party, and Michaud is fiscally conservative enough to be a reasonable alternative. The fact he has been a tireless advocate for our veterans is another big plus in his book.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

There is just one reason LePage has any chance at all.........

Eliot Cutler, he stands no chance of beating Mike Michaud, Paul LePage has no chance of beating Cutler. If Cutler draws just enough votes away from Michaud, then we have an exact replica of the Last Governors race. Eliot Cutler has to drop out of this race. I'm wondering if he isn't doing this specifically to help LePage win. It's not something I'd put past LePage, as long as he wins, nothing else seems to matter.
I would like to know what gives these guys the conviction to keep running in the face of complete and absolute failure.
I wouldn't even mind if Cutler won, but that just won't happen. We need this to be a two man race between Michaud and LePage, no one else.

I'm not worried...

Mike will win, regardless, for three reasons:
1) Mike is far better known and well liked than Libby Mitchell was. Libby was a very weak candidate, and the more we learned about her, the more people changed their minds and went for Eliot. This will not happen with Michaud.
2) There are too many who voted for Lepage that regret their choice and will vote for Eliot instead. This won't matter, because...
3) Mike is more popular than Cutler.

It is interesting to watch the LePage apologists cheering Eliot's run because in doing so they are admitting that they know he's not going to get anywhere near the majority. It's a strange world that considers just over a third of the vote to be a mandate, isn't it?

Edward S Phillips 's picture

Bangor Daily News support problem

The editors at the Bangor Daily must be having a real problem as to who they make look bad. Both Michaud and Cuttler running.Neither stand a chance with both running so one must be made to look bad. This will mean they will not have time for their constant attacks on LePage. Also remember middle of the road political neans stand for nothing. That way you never are contiversal or have to offend any one.

Run Elliot Run we need you

Run Elliot Run we need you to get 30-33% of the vote

Won't matter what he gets...

It will still be more than LePage will get.

But I find it interesting that you are depending on Cutler being a spoiler to get your Givernor elected. By this, you are admitting that he is undetectable in a two way race. I guess you're not *completely* out of touch with reality.


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