Governor’s race

Eliot Cutler Paul LePage Libby Mitchell Shawn Moody Kevin Scott
Critical Insights (Oct. 17) 19 32 20 5 1
Rasmussen (Oct. 12) 21 35 32
Critical Insights (Oct. 11) 13 34 29 6 1
Maine Center for Public Opinion (Oct. 7) 11 30 29 5 2
Critical Insights (Sept. 27) 9 29 30 4 0
Rasmussen (Sept. 20) 14 45 27
Critical Insights (Sept. 13) 11 38 25 4 1
PPP (Sept. 6) 11 43 29 5 1

Eliot Cutler

Cutler, the most well-known and politically experienced of three independents running for governor, needs votes from centrist Republicans, moderate Democrats and plenty of independents if he can mount a successful run at the Blaine House.

The Bangor native who now lives in Cape Elizabeth has plenty of confidence. He often talks about what he plans to do “when” he is governor rather than “if.”

Those close to him said he genuinely cares about shaping the future of Maine. READ PROFILE ->

Paul LePage

LePage was arguably the most conservative of the seven candidates in a Republican gubernatorial primary with no clear front-runner. But there would be no “too close to call” this night as LePage didn’t just win but trounced his rivals.

More than three months later, LePage, 61, has been called everything from a hero to a liar by fans and foes, but “dark horse” is no longer on anyone’s lips. “Race leader,” meanwhile, certainly is — and this in a state not known for embracing conservative Republicans.

“Some people haven’t taken LePage as seriously as they should have,” said Jim Melcher, a political scientist at theUniversity of Maine at Farmington. “He has sort of hit at the right time for a candidate with his message.”

It’s a message that LePage hammers home at every event — smaller and more business-friendly government, less regulation, lower taxes and welfare reform. READ PROFILE ->

Libby Mitchell

As a pioneering political veteran whose place in history is already secured as the first woman to lead both chambers of a state’s Legislature, Mitchell’s gracious demeanor isn’t easily soured — at least not in public. But when her gaze hardens and her tone drops a half note, you know there’s fire inside. That’s the way it was recently when she was told of LePage’s comment.

Mitchell, 70, a native South Carolinian, moved to Maine with her husband, James, in 1971. Since 1974, she has served nine terms in the House of Representatives and three in the Senate, rising to House majority leader, speaker of the House and most recently, Senate president.

Her past as a teacher shines through Mitchell’s legislative portfolio, which includes sponsorship of a bill that made Maine the first state in the country to used state funding to expand the Head Start program. She has played instrumental roles in difficult budget deliberations amid vanishing revenues and helped guide through bipartisan borrowing plans. READ PROFILE ->

Shawn Moody

Moody is a political newcomer and self-professed “regular guy” who never previously ran for, much less held, elected office. But as the owner of a tightly regulated business operating in five Maine communities, Moody claims he is plenty familiar with government.

Moody, 50, is one of three gubernatorial candidates hoping Maine voters will forgo the major-party contenders this November and send an independent to the Blaine House for only the third time in the past century.

“How many times have you heard people say, ‘Why can’t we have a good, honest, regular person go up to Augusta and straighten things out?’” Moody said. “I feel I’m that person.” READ PROFILE ->

Kevin Scott

Scott, 42, explained to a reporter over wraps at a Lebanese restaurant in Waterville recently that it’s not the governor’s job to know everything. Having changed from a dark business suit to jeans, a button-up shirt and cowboy boots, Scott said he finds the spectacle of gubernatorial candidates claiming they know exactly what to do in whatever situation absurd.

Scott, one of five candidates for governor, doesn’t appear to have much going for him in political terms. At a forum, the candidates were asked how they felt about the health reform law.

The candidates for governor rattled off their likes and dislikes, except for independent Kevin Scott, who said basically, he didn’t know.

“I’m not saying I don’t have the answers,” said Scott during a recent interview. “I have the answer. The answer to the problem is that someone else has the solution. That’s an answer in and of itself. Betty over here knows exactly what to do. I’m the governor; follow Betty.” READ PROFILE ->