SCARBOROUGH — Hillary Rodham Clinton told a high school gym full of Maine residents that their state needs a leadership change to spur economic growth, and painted Democratic gubernatorial nominee Rep. Mike Michaud as the best candidate to make it happen.
The former secretary of state and first lady of the United States made a stop at Scarborough High School on Friday to campaign with Michaud, the congressman who’s running against Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Polls show LePage and Michaud in a tight race and Cutler trailing.
Clinton told the crowd that Michaud’s background as a mill worker underscores his understanding of the need for working and middle-class jobs.
Michaud “knows what it’s like to punch a time clock,” Clinton said.
“I think Maine needs a fresh start,” she said. “Mike has the grit and the vision to deliver that.”
Michaud highlighted access to health care and equal pay for equal work at the event, which attracted a crowd of about 1,000 people, a large percentage of whom were women. He also focused on job growth and returning civility to a state government he said LePage has divided.
“Right now Maine is at a crossroads. Too many people are out of work or working too hard for too little,” Michaud said, adding that the state is “being held back by one man.”
Clinton agreed, saying “a lack of leadership in your governor’s office has slowed” job growth in the state.
Earlier in the day, Clinton stumped in Boston for Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley and in Rhode Island for party nominee Gina Raimondo.
Former President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama have also campaigned with Michaud, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has stumped for LePage. President Barack Obama is expected to make an appearance for Michaud at the Portland Exposition Building on Oct. 30.