Gov. Janet Mills answers a question during a debate with former Gov. Paul LePage at the Eggs & Issues breakfast hosted by the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce in Portland on Thursday, October 6, 2022. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Gov. Janet Mills took credit for building up Maine’s rainy day fund, stabilizing state government and creating the state’s first economic plan in two decades.

Former Gov. Paul LePage said he managed the state without an infusion of federal COVID response funds and instead focused on economic struggles, record-setting overdose deaths and crime, including a recent fatal shooting in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park.

Mills and LePage touted their records and attacked each other’s during a debate in Portland Thursday morning sponsored by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The breakfast forum comes two days after Mills, the Democratic incumbent, and LePage, her Republican challenger, debated for 90 minutes Tuesday evening. Independent candidate Sam Hunkler of Beals was not scheduled to participate in Thursday morning’s debate, but did share the stage with Mills and LePage on Tuesday.

The Thursday morning debate was held during a regular breakfast meeting of the business organization and was not broadcast live.

Tuesday’s 90-minute debate was aired live and can be watched at It covered a wide range if topics and included some heated exchanges between Mills and LePage on issues such as abortion, the economy, the state budget and immigration.

On Tuesday, both Mills and LePage said they support Maine’s current law restricting abortion after 22 weeks, or the viability of the fetus. Their positions are certain to disappoint advocates on both sides who want to tighten or loosen Maine’s abortion access law.

LePage, who has supported the elimination of a federal right to abortion, avoided taking a firm position on the subject when asked several times, but ultimately said he would veto a bill seeking to ban abortions after 15 weeks as some other states have done. And Mills said she would not support easing restrictions, something advocates have said should be done in limited circumstances.

This story will be updated.

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