Maine GOP hopeful decries job losses

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican gubernatorial hopeful Les Otten says state government has done too little to prevent a job flight from one of Maine’s premier employers, Jackson Laboratory.

Otten said Friday the lab is considering a partnership with Florida to build a $710 million genetics research institute there. Otten says it would begin with 200 employees and could increase to 7,000.

Otten says Maine “just threw up its hands” on Jackson’s Florida expansion. He says Maine could have used some of the stimulus funding it received to compete for the expansion.

His comments drew criticism from rival Republican candidate Peter Mills, who said Otten’s inflating the number of job losses for political purposes.

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The other candidates seeing the GOP nomination include Steve Abbott, Bill Beardsley, Paul LePage, Matt Jacobson and Bruce Poliquin.

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