April 26, 2018
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Blaine House pack canvasses state

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Wild weekend weather that produced torrential rains and even possible tornadoes didn’t stop the 11 people hoping to become Maine’s next governor from pounding the campaign trail Saturday and Sunday in search of undecided voters.

Most of the Democratic and Republican candidates focused their energies in the more densely populated southern area of the state, showing up at festivals, baseball games and popular eateries across the region.

But voters from Kittery to Madawaska are likely to cross paths with a few of the Blaine House hopefuls today and Tuesday as the candidates attempt to eke out every last vote in primary races widely considered still up for grabs.

“It’s a matter of trying to get to as many places as you can and meet as many people as you can,” Republican Steve Abbott said Sunday by telephone from his chartered campaign bus.

Like more than half of the candidates, Abbott spent part of Saturday in the rain at the annual Westbrook Together Days festival. By this morning, Abbott and his bus will be in Aroostook County for campaign stops.

Democratic candidate Steve Rowe was also in Westbrook and Portland on Saturday. And on Sunday evening, he and his campaign manager, Toby McGrath, also were headed north toward The County, only in McGrath’s Subaru rather than a bus.

The pair planned to start the morning in Allagash and hit several Aroostook stops before ending the day back in Cumberland County.

Democrat Libby Mitchell also spent most of the weekend in southern Maine, including stops at the Westbrook festival, a farmers market and a baseball game. The weather wasn’t ideal for the final weekend of a big primary campaign, Mitchell conceded.

“But all of us are facing the same thing,” said Mitchell, who plans to campaign in Bangor today. “And people are out and about” despite the dreary weather, she added.

On Saturday, Republican candidates Matt Jacobson and Bill Beardsley were in Belfast for a gathering of Tea Party activists. Jacobson also joined the rest of the crowd in rainy Westbrook and spent much of Sunday campaigning in York and Cumberland counties.

Beardsley said his day on Sunday began at 4 a.m. when he posted his last remaining signs in the Howland area. By Sunday afternoon, he was back home in Ellsworth answering the questionnaires and inquiries still flooding into his campaign office.

“We’re doing as much as we humanly can,” Beardsley said of his schedule through Tuesday.

Some patrons of Becky’s Diner in Portland on Sunday morning got a double dose of politicking when two of the four Democratic contenders — Rosa Scarcelli and Pat McGowan — made campaign stops at the eatery, at the same time.

“Everywhere she went, we were right behind her to shake hands,” McGowan said with a laugh. “But we had a good time. Rosa and I sat down and had coffee together.”

McGowan planned several stops in the Lewiston-Auburn area as well as Brunswick on Sunday, while Scarcelli continued to work voters in the Portland area.

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Poliquin was busy with his son’s graduation and attending to family members in town for the weekend event. But Poliquin on Thursday and Friday made a campaign bus tour that included stops in The County and Down East before ending in Kennebunk.

Republicans Peter Mills and Les Otten were also in Westbrook and the Portland area Saturday. Otten was spending time in Bethel with family before embarking on a midcoast tour today.

Mills, meanwhile, continued campaigning Sunday in southern Maine, which included participating in a 5K charity run in Kennebunk.

Paul LePage, one of the seven GOP candidates, spent the weekend traveling around the state attending as many “meet and greet” event0

s as possible, according to his campaign.

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