Maine gears up for a long 3-person governor's race

Paul LePage
Robert F. Bukaty

Gov. Paul LePage announces he will seek a second term, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, in Augusta, Maine. The Republican governor officially launched his re-election bid one year to the day before voters will decide the fate of the state's three-person race. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

AUGUSTA (AP) — Paul LePage. Mike Michaud. Eliot Cutler. One year before Maine voters head to the polls to vote for governor, the race seems to already be set.

In the 2010 gubernatorial race, a dozen Republicans and Democrats jockeyed for their party's nomination with the final three contenders not settled until June. This time around, it's shaping up to be a long three-person battle for the Blaine House.

Voters should brace themselves for a deluge of negative campaign ads in the race between incumbent LePage, Democratic U.S. Rep. Michaud and independent Cutler, three already well-known candidates in the state, political experts say.

"Usually within the primary you have a lot of people who have to introduce themselves," said Jim Melcher, political science professor at the University of Maine at Farmington. "Here ... you might see people going after the other candidates a little more, earlier."

While primary challengers could still emerge, serious threats to the Republican governor or Michaud are unlikely. Instead, the next few months will be what one professor called a "ghost primary" between Michaud and Cutler — a competition for the better alternative to LePage.

Voters will watch the polls that periodically come out to see who has momentum, said Brian Duff, political science professor at the University of New England. By June, the time when voters head to the polls for a primary, they'll have decided which of the two to support, he said.

Seven Republicans and five Democrats were on the 2010 ballot with no obvious front runners. Polls days before the June primaries indicated more than half of voters still had not decided on a candidate.

This year, the field of fewer candidates should make it easier for voters to zero in on a favorite.

With the race set early, candidates can raise as much money as they can and ensure that their grassroots organizations are established early on, said Sandy Maisel, political science professor at Colby College.

Democrats and Republicans have already begun coalescing support behind their candidates.

In a recent email to supporters, Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett said Republicans were "united in (their) quest for victory in 2014."

With no primary challenger to Michaud in sight, Democrats who were stunned by the party's poor performance in the 2010 election have also gotten an early start on lining up support and funds for Michaud, Duff said.

The 2nd Congressional District representative's only primary challenger, Steve Woods, a businessman and Town Council chairman in Yarmouth, dropped out of the race in August.

"I think (Democrats) are really rallying behind Mike Michaud and everyone is on the same page in terms of raising funds," Duff said. "They really decided to dig in and make a stand for the future of the party in Maine."

With LePage and Cutler, who lost to the Republican governor by less than 2 percentage points last election, voters may think it's a repeat of 2010.

But experts say next year's election is more likely to gain national attention after Michaud's recent announcement that he is gay, Melcher said.

The many negative ads over the next year could cause voter fatigue, but Mainers already seem more invested in the race this time around, Melcher said.

"People for and against LePage are very motivated in a way people were not four years ago," he said. "I think a lot of people are ready to vote right now."

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Roger  Cyr's picture



FRANK EARLEY's picture

Let the policy bashing begin..................

To be on the safe side of things I went up to Best Buy and bought a couple of spare key boards, as I'm sure to burn out a couple. I'm glad to see Bob W. is up to speed with his old alliance to the Governor, I'm sure the Gov is pleased to have such a loyal constituents out there, and we all hope to be able to figure out what they are talking about this time around. From reading some of the posts lately, my investment money this year is going into pharmaceuticals, blood pressure pharmaceuticals. Hey Bob, they have this stuff called "Valium", it will either speed up your typing fingers or slow down your thinking, but hopefully balance everything out in the long run.............................

Bob White's picture

The President is

President Obama is a bold face liar !!!!!!! Or he has no clue what is going on. Say what you want about the Governor every time you left wing nuts cried foul on something he did or say BUT nothing ever came of it

Steve  Dosh's picture

Bob ? The day after Veterans

Bob ? The day after Veterans Day
Former SECSTATE and National Security Committee Chairperson Condi Rice was a bold faced liar.
That's why i quit . She knew about 9.11 before 9.11 and did nothing . Not a thing . Bush and Cheney , too . Lairs . You do not have to take it from me . Here's the proof
Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US - Cached - Similar
Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004. Bin Ladin Determined To
Strike in US. Clandestine, foreIgn government, and media reports indicate Bin ... <--
drafted the August before 9.11
It's also why my boss Colin Powell quit
Lies •
/s, Dr. Dosh FSO ( ret.)
" It's easy to start a fight . Difficult to conclude one . Bush . No exit strategy in Afghanistan "

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Thanks for the docs

Doc.....I turned 46 that day....

Dennis asks: "What are you

Dennis asks: "What are you smoking Jonathan? "

Dennis, Jonathan lives in Dixfield, downriver and downwind from the paper mill. That may explain a lot.

 's picture

Why waste a year

"I think a lot of people are ready to vote right now." I think Mr. Melcher is right on the money. Let's not waste time. Vote now.
We've seen the damage Republicans have done nationally. We've seen the damage LePage has wanted to do but was stopped by the legislature. Why waste time. Vote LePage out now.

 's picture

The economy could use the boost

Think of the millions, and millions of dollars that will flow into the State of Maine for this election. This could well be the most well-funded race for the Blaine house in history.

If you held the election now, there would be many businesses who'd miss out on all that $$$$. Caterers, printers, media outlets, etc... say what you want about these candidates, they put money into the economy every time a big election rolls around. There are many struggling small businesses who could use even a meager bump from that election money.

Yeah but that money won't

Yeah but that money won't stay here long. Most of that money will go to ads on broadcast media outlets that are owned by out of state companies, so the millions that will come in from out of state will just flow right back out again.

Damage done by Repubs

Damage done by Repubs nationally? What are you smoking Jonathan? Next you be blaming Obamcares trainwreck on the Tea Party. Obama has been a disaster, the debt he has racked will be a anchor on Americas economy for a long long time. His approval is now below 40%, and that's with the main stream news still pulling for him.

Well, to be fair, the

Well, to be fair, the original framework of what became Romneycare with became Obamacare was written by the Tea Party fanboys at the Heritage Policy Center. The one now headed by that other Tea party Fanboy, Jim Demint. Who wrote the stimulus bill Obama passed.

 's picture

Facts, Dennis. I know how distasteful they are to you

but climb out of your Fox news fog. Name one policy Obama has promoted that has added to the debt. The deficts under Obama have been result of Republican policies. Their austerity program has cut economic grow by at least .5%. Their shutdown of the Federal Government cost an additional $24 billion. They have prevented the passage of any budget. They have prevented the BATF, IRS, FIDC, and other federal agencies from functioning never mind the courts. Their argument that Obmacare is costing jobs has been exposed as the lie it is. Fox News has had at least 4 couples claiming that or that their premiums have exploded under Obamacare and each has been exposed as a fraud. Same argument as voter fraud. Whenever anyone tried to verify Repubican claims they came up empty including here in Maine with Charlie Webster and Charlie Sumner's widely irresponsible and false claims.
You'd blame Obama for a snow storm on Christmas.

You must be smoking some

You must be smoking some pretty powerful weed Jonathan. How about the wasteful stimulis bill? That set us back about 1 trillion dollars. Obamcare will cost America much more. The government shut down proved one thing, 83% didn't even feel any effect from it. Makes you wonder how much tax payers could save, by doing some real fat trimming in DC.

If anyone who is good at killing people like Obama is, can win a Nobel Peace Prize, delivering a snow storm on Christmas should be a piece of cake.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

How about the millions.............

Let us discuss the millions of dollars Maine is missing out on due to Republican mentality. LePage, convinced he could score a better deal, has blocked Medicaid expansion. That would have supplied millions of dollars for Maine, would have helped thousands of people to acquire health insurance, and help create jobs. No, instead we have folks stuck using the dysfunctional Federal web site to hopefully find health insurance.
Those millions of dollars would have gone into out economy to benefit us, the people of Maine. Instead our neighbors are basking in the glow of our tax dollars, Yes we can thank the Republican party and their illustrious representative Paul LePage for our misery.
Dennis, could you let us know where you found your "crystal ball"? evidently you have one due to your rock solid predictions as to what "Obama Care" will cost this country. It hasn't happened yet, no one knows exactly what it will cost. Somehow you are privy to this information, how?
83%, now that's some particular number, is that a factual number or an estimate? In case you spent the time under a rock somewhere, the shut down cost this country dearly. Many people were directly or indirectly affected. You are correct though, We could trim some fat that is just holding back this Country. Let's start by disbanding the entire Republican Party, just imagine the possibilities without that extra baggage, and just so you know, I don't need to smoke anything to see the damage the Republicans alone are doing..................................................


Yeah--Obama gives the final

Yeah--Obama gives the final order for the launch of drones to the planned targets.

Hm. Are you talking about

Hm. Are you talking about the stimulus bill that was written by Jim DeMint? Or the one signed by GW Bush that created the TARP?

Hm.... I'm talking about

Hm.... I'm talking about the 2009 Recovery Act passed by a Democratic controlled Congress that was full of wasteful pork and union payoffs. It set us back $800 Billion ($800,000,000,000,) You can't blame Jim Demint or GW Bush for that, JIm Demint was in the miinority and GW Bush was in Texas.

Hm.... I'm talking about

Hm.... I'm talking about the 2009 Recovery Act passed by a Democratic controlled Congress that was full of wasteful pork and union payoffs. It set us back $800 Billion ($800,000,000,000,) You can't blame Jim Demint or GW Bush for that, JIm Demint was in the miinority and GW Bush was in Texas.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


That Sec Paulson, Bushes hand picked, just gave the money away< BILLIONS and had no idea who got what and how much that they never paid back...Yep that stimulus that Bush was saying the country had to have so the wall street thieves could screw the economy a few years later...

The same Demint that put it all up front and the Heritage and the Repubs that created the Affordable care act that the Dems finally put into gear and the Repubs/tbaggers now hate.

That is correct Wayne, Dennis is clueless as usual.....

Now your blaming the GOP for

Now your blaming the GOP for the unaffordable care act fiasco? Jerry get some mental help, I believe Obamcare provides for that.


We''. it's got his name on

We''. it's got his name on it--signed, sealed and not necessarily delivered.

 's picture

Dennis, Dennis that fog that's circling your head must be

stronger than the usual Fox News Fog.
1. The cost of the stimulus bill was $787 billion. But like conservatives always want to do you forget the benefits. 3 million people either kept their jobs or got jobs that otherwise would not have been there. That reduced federal/state spending for unemployment insurance, increased Federal/State income tax revenues, increased state sales taxes all just for a start. Net impact; none to the deficit or debt and likely the Federal Government made a profit. I thought you'd bringup the auto bailout, which cost several hundred billion but as of the last accounting I saw will cost of taxpayers $20 billion at most and with a few breaks on Wall Street will also show a profit never mind that GM is now the world's premier auto company.
2. Is that all you've got. The deficit in Bush's last budget year was $1.3 trillion now its around $645 billion. I want to know what policies Obama has promoted that increased the deficit that did not increase. Surely as a devoted Fox watcher you can come up with something more.
3. No one knows what if anything Obamacare will cost; but we do know so far its fully paid for in the Federal appropriations and even if it weren't. Obamacare has not added a penny to the deficit so far because it will not be implemented until next year.
4. Whose joking. Where in the world did you come up with 83% of what. We know congress felt it. Enough that they surrendered.
5. But as proof of "you'd blame Obama for snow on christmas is you last statement. Blaming Obama for successful protecting Americans from foreign and domestic terrorism. What hypocrisy.

No Fox News fog here dude!

No Fox News fog here dude! With all the tax money the government provided GM, it should be a premier auto company. The question is will the tax payers ever get it all back. Look at Ford, there's the premier auto company. They did it without tax payer money. Obamacare only 50,000 signed up? 5,000,000 million (so far) loosing healthcare, its a disaster, admit it dude! The deficit only being $645 billion is a result of a GOP Congress and the sequester. If Obama got all the spending he wanted, the defecit would be exploding. The last 2 years of Bush administration the Dems controlled the spending, they had both US Senate and House. Get your facts straight dude.

 's picture

Fog? Seems like the world's deepest mine without a light.

Ford took $5 billion before the crash in loans. They we lucky nothing more. But answer the question GM in bankruptcy takes Federal funds and survives. Does matter where the money comes from. Either public or private sources the results are the same; Ford and GM survived. Ford is not the premier auto company. GM just surpassed Toyoto as Number one company in the world based on sales and quality. Ford wasn't in the running, but it did survive.
Can't pass judgement on the website which has been open for 40 days. Ridiculous. Wait a year then will know. But you better hope it succeeds. Based on CBO numbers, Obamacare will reduce the Federal deficit over the long term by more than anything currently proposed including the disasterous sequester. And Obamacare did reduce the 2013 deficit by more than the sequester ($42 to 41 billion out of $409 billion). How is it a disaster to provide health care insurance to potentially 30 million people ad reduce federal spending by .5% of the GDP. Fanny Mae helped by more than either returning $50 billion to the Federal treasurery.
Don't give me this democratis controlled the house and senate. Tell me specific programs that were passed over the President's veto that added to the Federal debt. Specific Programs. Not some vague nonsense about who occupies a chair. Talk about their policies and actions.

Over 91 Million people not

Over 91 Million people not working in America, 48 Million now on foodstamps , and your bragging about Obamas record?
Jonathan don't bogart that joint my friend.

 's picture

There you go. Can't defend the last issue you brought up

so now its on to another distraction. But I'll bite.
The economy collapsed in 2007 descending into recession in 2008 and finally into depression due to Republican policies of the previous 7 years - a failure to enforce existing law and regulations (the madoff scandal as just one minor example), a failure to regulate "new" financial instruments (securities based on fraudlent and sub-prime mortages), and an orgy of fiscal irresponsibility never before experienced with over $5 trillion in new programs none of which were paid for. If 91 million aren't working and I don't accept that number as meaningful or accurate but certainly the 48 million on food stamps are a direct result of those Republican policies.

American has had a good dose

American has had a good dose of liberalism in the last 5 years. Obamas record speaks for itself, its dismal. More and more Dems are jumping ship when it comes to Obamacare. They should have read the bill before they voted for it. They are going to pay next November.

 's picture

Again not answers just new distractions because

First, you can defend your position not because you couldn't but because your position is wrong.
Second, what good dose of liberalism? I'm liberal at least I think most of the readers here would agree with that and I changed my registration because Obama has implemented the Bush program almost policy by policy. TARP - Obama continued it. Bush Tax cuts - Obama continued them. War in Iraq and Afghanistan - Obama continued them. Auto bailout - Obama completed negiotiations and implemented the agreement. Obama's signature program, the ACA, a Republican idea first implemented in Massachusetts under Romney which gave huge breaks to the Health care and Health Insurance industries and forced insurance on everyone. Every bit a conservative, individual responsiblilty program opposed by the left which wanted a single-payer system.
The country has received a great big dose of presidential centrist moderation and conservative sabotage and obstructionism. Lberals got photo ops.


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