New endorsements in Maine’s gubernatorial race

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Some new endorsements for two gubernatorial candidates were announced today as Maine’s candidates for the Blaine House head down the home (but frenzied) stretch to the June 8th primary.

Republican Steve Abbott’s campaign got some major juice, his campaign announced, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has began running television ‘voter education’ ads in support of him on Thursday. And Maine’s two Passamaquoddy tribal leaders announced today they will be switching their voter registration from Democrat to Republican so they can vote for Abbott in the primary.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a D.C. lobbying powerhouse, is only advertising in three races across the country right now, according to J.P. Fielder, the group’s director of media relations, though he added that number could quickly change.

“Mr. Abbott understands what the issues are that are going to create jobs up there and that’s why we feel it’s important to jump in early and support his campaign with these voter education ads,” he said. “The chamber has an internal process that involves membership (in D.C.) and a political committee.

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The endorsement announcement from the Passamaquoddy tribal leaders also came on Thursday afternoon.

“Having spent several hours a day in Augusta over the past three years, it’s been clear to me the importance of having a Maine governor who has a passion and understanding for the Passamaquoddy people and I believe Steve Abbott will, no doubt, serve us respectfully as Maine’s next governor,” said Governor William Nicholas, leader of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, in a release.

Lt. Governor Joseph Socobasin will join Nicholas in switching parties to vote for Abbott, according to the release. Abbott is scheduled to meet with all Passamaquoddy Tribe members who are interested on Friday at 2 p.m. at the Indian Township tribal offices.

Democrat Steve Rowe successfully won the hearts of the Maine League of Young Voters, according to a release from his campaign.

“Steve’s experience, out-of-the-box thinking and commitment to Maine’s future make him an ideal candidate for governor,” the league wrote in its endorsement, according to the campaign release.

The league is the largest organization in Maine working to energize young voters, and have played significant roles in public debates over issues like the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and marriage equality, according to the Rowe release.

This post has been updated since it was originally published.

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