Independent gubernatorial candidate David Jones joins Auburn’s John Michael as early casualties in the race for the Blaine House.

Jones of Falmouth failed to qualify for public financing for his campaign, falling short of the 2,500 $5 contributions he needed. Without the public money, Jones had trouble raising the cash necessary to run a statewide campaign.

In his most recent campaign finance disclosure, Jones reported raising only $8,530, most of it from people who contributed $50 or less.

Jones did not return a telephone call last week, but his Web site states he intends to concentrate on running his construction business and supporting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which is on the ballot in November.

“I will spend as much time as needed to make sure that the people here in Maine understand and approve the proposed Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights,” Jones wrote.

“Life is about accountability, and there is no reason that government should not be held accountable by the people that work every day to pay for the programs tax dollars are spent on,” he continued.

Jones submitted more than 4,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, and he offered thanks to the people who made his run possible.

“I want to thank everyone for the support and contributions to my campaign,” Jones wrote. “I never could have qualified for the ballot without the help and support of everyone who committed their time and effort.”

Left in the race are Democratic incumbent John Baldacci, Republican Chandler Woodcock, Green Independent Pat LaMarche, and independents Barbara Merrill and Phillip Morris NaPier. Baldacci is running a privately financed campaign, while Woodcock, LaMarche and Merrill qualified as Maine Clean Election candidates, able to receive as much as $1.2 million in public money. In his most recent campaign-finance disclosure, NaPier reported raising only $21 for his campaign so far.

Making the rounds

Former Lewiston Police Chief Larry Gilbert is making the rounds talking about a possible run for mayor.

Gilbert announced last week that he has formed an exploratory committee to help him in his decision-making process.

Given the amount of work put into forming the committee, a run looks more likely than not even though Lewiston’s city elections are more than a year away.

Gilbert has letterhead with a logo, an e-mail address for his committee, [email protected] and a Web site, www.larrygilbertmayor.com.

He’s also named an impressive list of locals to the committee, including chairperson Jim Handy, who serves on the city’s school committee. Other members include Jan Barrett, Qamar Ali Bashir, Rita Dube, John T. Emerson, Ronald Fournier, Laurent F. Gilbert Jr. and Jonathan Labonte.

In addition to his 25 years with the Lewiston Police Department, Gilbert also served as a U.S. marshal.

Gilbert had announced that he would form an exploratory committee in June. He was true to his word.

Mayor Lionel Guay can’t run for the job again. First elected in 2003, Guay is limited to two two-year terms.

Election law forum

The Maine Economic Research Institute will hold its annual symposium Sept. 6 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Jonathan Wayne, the executive director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices will be the featured speaker. There also will be an expert panel that will discuss election law and the role business can play in elections.

The event begins a 9 a.m. To register, e-mail Glen Foss, MERI vice president, at [email protected] or call 622-9075. The event is free.

Doing the wave

Volunteers for Green Independent Pat LaMarche are working the streets around the state.

The troupe of sign wavers have been standing at busy intersections from Portland to Bangor. On Friday, they showed up outside Central Maine Medical Center to waive at motorists and talk with people who might be dealing with medical issues.

“It’s easy to drive by a political sign and not pay attention to it,” LaMarche said last week. “It’s different when you look over and see someone smiling and waving back.”

In addition to smiling and waving, the volunteers are also handing out campaign information to anyone who’s interested.

According to LaMarche, more than 400 people asked for literature last week in Portland.

“All these things you do, you don’t know when you’re going to reach that critical mass, that tipping point and break through,” LaMarche said.

Bears bite back

In 2004, Gov. John Baldacci backed bear hunters and trappers who use bait.

This year, the bears – or at least their friends – are biting back.

Maine Friends of Animals, which unsuccessfully tried to ban bear hunting with bait, traps and dogs two years ago, has endorsed Green Independent Pat LaMarche in the governor’s race.

“Many Democrats who supported the bear referendum have not forgotten Gov. Baldacci’s support and illegal use of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to defeat the referendum,” said Robert Fisk, the group’s president. “Chandler Woodcock has shown no interest in animal welfare issues, and like Baldacci, is strongly supported by Maine’s extreme hunting lobby.”

Growl.

Chris Miller, who challenged Baldacci in the Democratic primary this year, has backed a second independent for the fall. Miller is lending his support to independent anti-war candidate Dexter Kamilewicz, who’s running against U.S. Rep. Tom Allen and Republican Darlene Curley in Maine’s 1st Congressional District. Miller had previously endorsed LaMarche.

Finally, James Bradley, the Democratic candidate in Maine House District 100, has picked up two more endorsements. The Maine State Employees Association and the Maine Credit Union League are backing him.

Bradley is the president of ACSUM, the union that represents support staff in the University of Maine System. He’s challenging Republican James Hamper for the Mechanic Falls, Otisfield and Oxford seat.


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