BANGOR, Maine — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Pat McGowan didn’t break out his guitar at the official unveiling of his campaign song, held at noon Monday on the city’s waterfront, but he strummed the song earlier in the day for folks at Ross Manor.
“They were all clapping their hands,” and appeared to be enjoying the song, the Bangor native said just before noon about the senior citizens he visited earlier in the day.
McGowan, one of four Democrats hoping to become Maine’s next governor, asked East Millinocket musician and songwriter Mark “Guitar” Miller whether he could use a song Miller and fellow musician Wayne Hendsbee wrote in 2007 titled “Back in Maine” as his official campaign song. The duo agreed, and Miller sang the song at Monday’s official unveiling.
“The lyrics are really Maine,” said McGowan, who most recently served as Maine’s conservation commissioner.
The song lists a number of attributes of the state, and includes everything from winding roads to loggers to potluck dinners at the Grange.
McGowan said he is planning a series of old-fashioned campaign rallies in the coming months that will include music, which he described as a big part of the state’s creative economy. McGowan, a former New England region administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said the American Folk Festival in Bangor is a prime example of a success story for the region that incorporates the arts and building the local economy.
Specific dates for future campaign stops will be posted on the candidate’s website, mcgowanformaine.com. The site includes an audio clip of his campaign song.