PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Republicans’ large field of candidates in their gubernatorial primary is one of several factors behind the largest GOP primary turnout since 1952.
The 130,928 Republican votes counted in unofficial tallies falls about 5,000 votes shy of the 1952 benchmark set when Burton Cross bested a three-person field.
Observers say the field of seven candidates and tax reform referendum drew Republicans. They also say winner Paul LePage, a favorite of tea partiers, turned out a big vote.
Dan Billings, a Republican political consultant, told the Portland Press Herald that LePage drew many people to the polls who wouldn’t normally vote in a primary.