WILTON — Tom Saviello announced he will not be joining the race for the Maine governorship.

Tom Saviello speaks at a February 2020 rally in Augusta. AP file photo

Saviello, 71, is a Wilton selectperson, prominent New England Clean Energy Connect-corridor opponent and former District 17 state senator.

Saviello announced in July 2021 that he was considering a run for governor and would make a decision following the November 2021 election where voters passed Referendum Question 1 to reject the NECEC corridor.

In a statement, Saviello said there were six primary reasons for his decision.

He feels he “cannot identify” with younger voters.

“I do not know what is important to them and what they want in their lives as far as the government is concerned,” Saviello said. “It is time this generation takes the lead in making Maine a great place to live, work and play.”


Saviello is also unhappy with the “polarizing,” “uncompromising” partisanship in government.

He said it would take “a tremendous amount of energy” to bring together the parties, “work across the aisle,” which is “energy I would rather spend on my family.”

Alongside not having the energy to battle partisanship, Saviello said he is “tired of party politics” overall.

“Instead of being allowed to vote for who we want to represent us as governor, we are told by a political party who the candidates will be,” he wrote.

The fourth reason on Saviello’s list was his concern about being “a spoiler in the election.”

“In my time in Maine there have been four times where a third-party candidate’s ballot presence secured the win for another candidate,” Saviello said. “This resulted in good governors, “so-so” governors and a disaster. You can decide yourself which one is which.”


Saviello said he’s also still entangled with the NECEC corridor cases in the court right now which are “requiring (his) focus and attention.”

He was one of the lead petitioners to get the referendum question banning the NECEC corridor, on the November 2021 Maine state ballot.

Saviello said that his last and most important reason for not running is that he wants to retire.

“I have served the public in some capacity or another for over 40 years,” he wrote.

Saviello said he’s ready to dedicate more time to his downtown Farmington store, the Mercantile, and his family — though he added that “I am sure I will find some special project to work on where I believe the people’s voice is not being heard.”

Ultimately, Saviello will not be endorsing either lead candidate — former Republican Gov. Paul LePage or current Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

In the statement, Saviello emphasized that both LePage and Mills are older than him and hopes that they are both “asked how they will identify with this generation.”

“I will be watching and listening carefully to what they plan to do to lead Maine forward,” Saviello finished. “I just may find a way to share my thoughts on their ideas.”

Saviello expanded on these reasons and beyond in an interview that will run in the Friday edition of the Franklin Journal.

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