LEWISTON — Two more Maine politicians are contemplating runs for the Blaine House.

State Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn, and Senate President Libby Mitchell, D-Vassalboro, say they are seriously considering entering the Democratic primary in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

With two-term Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, barred from running for re-election due to term limits, the race is attracting plenty of candidates.

Four Democrats already have registered to run: Donna Dion, a former Biddeford mayor; state Rep. Dawn Hill of Cape Neddick; Steve Rowe of Portland, a former Maine attorney general; and Rosa Scarcelli of Portland, owner of an affordable housing company. A total of 14 gubernatorial candidates — from all of Maine’s political parties — had registered with the state as of July 31. That does not include Bolduc and Mitchell, who have not registered as candidates.

Bolduc served two terms in the state Legislature in the late 1990s and was elected again in 2009.

“I’ve been thinking about the governor’s race for about a year now, since being re-elected to the State House,” Bolduc said. “This is a really big window of opportunity in my own personal life. It just seems like this is something that only comes around once in a lifetime.”

Mitchell, who was first elected to the Maine Legislature in 1974 and was the first woman to serve as Maine’s House speaker, said she didn’t think about running until the Legislature adjourned this past June.

“I didn’t want to set up any ambitions or things like that that could distract from the job at hand, because it was tough,” she said. “I’m just excited about a lot of the things we tried to begin and I would like to, if I get in, be a voice moving Maine in this direction, towards a new economy.”

Mitchell, who could serve another term in the Senate before being forced to leave due to term limits, said she is weighing the benefits of running for the state’s top executive office versus serving two consecutive terms as Senate president. Also factoring into her decision is how much support within the party she has.

“If I were termed out, I wouldn’t hesitate,” she said of making the run. “It’s very complicated and it takes more than just thinking you can do the job; you have to have other people who agree. My initial feelers out there have been very positive.”

Her entrance in the race likely would challenge Rowe’s status as the Democratic establishment candidate. Mitchell said she would make an official announcement early next week.

Bolduc acknowledged that he would be an underdog in the race.

“I have a lot to overcome because my political resume is … not a very sophisticated one,” he said. “I just don’t have the kind of professional qualifications that so many of the other Democrats do that are running, so it would be hard for me to make an argument to these people about why would I be a better candidate than the other folks that are running.”

Bolduc said he was planning to take the summer to evaluate whether he could gain enough support to raise the $40,000 in initial seed money necessary to qualify for Clean Elections funding before making an official announcement.

As to his motivation for running, Bolduc said he’d like to have more influence on policy-making than being a state legislator affords him.

“I had kind of a rough session with a lot of my proposals this session,” he said. None of his eight proposals made it out of committee; seven were defeated unanimously. “You can advocate for your positions better being downstairs in the governor’s office than you can being 1 of 150 (House) members.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.