LePage to Face Off With Cutler in Maine Rematch

Image: LePage to Face Off With Cutler in Maine Rematch Gubernatorial candidates, from left, Independent Eliot Cutler, Republican Paul LePage, Democrat Libby Mitchell, debate in Portland, Maine on Oct. 18, 2010.

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 01:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The upcoming Maine governor's race heated up Thursday with Eliot Cutler — an independent who closely trailed Republican Gov. Paul LePage in 2010 — revealing he'll run again in 2014.

When asked on WGAN radio if he's throwing his hat in the ring, the Bangor-born lawyer replied, "I am."

"You guys have been pressing me for months to announce on your show," Cutler told host Mike Violette.

"I figured I couldn’t make a formal announcement on your show, but I can announce that I will announce."

He rebuffed the suggestion his candidacy would spoil the Democrats’ chances and result in LePage’s re-election.

LePage beat Cutler by a little more than 10,000 votes out of more than half a million cast in 2010. Democrat Libby Mitchell came in a distant third.

Cutler, 66, served as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science in the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration. He launched his political career as a legislative assistant to Sen. Edmund Muskie.

Cutler denied to Violette that entering the race would dilute a Democratic candidate's chances of winning and end up in the reelection of LePage.

"I wouldn’t run if I didn’t think I could win a three-way race," Cutler said.

His announcement adds to the increasingly crowded playing field of potential candidates in the Pine Tree State.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat, is mulling a run and is seen as the party's strongest candidate, the Bangor Daily News reports.

In addition, former Gov. John Baldacci is said to be thinking about another go if Michaud decides not to proceed.

So far, the only Democrat to announce his candidacy formally is businessman Steve Woods, CEO of the technology and marketing firm TideSmart Global and chairman of the Yarmouth Town Council.

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