(UPDATED) BREAKING: Congressman Mike Michaud Announces 2014 Maine Gubernatorial Exploratory Committee
(Updating post to reflect reactions below. ~AP)
Maine’s Second Congressional District’s Rep. Mike Michaud announced this morning online the formation of an exploratory committee with fundraising as a first step towards possibly challenging Republican Governor Paul LePage next year:
Michaud, who has been fielding requests from Democrats, Republicans and independents asking him to run for governor, says the exploratory committee “will better gauge the depth of support.” A final decision date has not yet been set. The Democrat handily won re-election for his current office over repeat challenger and former 125th Legislature Senate President Kevin Raye (R-Washington) last year with a 58-42 landslide.
- Throughout my time in public service to the people of Maine, I’ve proven that you can stay true to core Democratic values while respecting the views of others and working together to get things done.
I’ve been greatly honored and humbled by the countless Mainers across the state — Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike — who have asked me to consider running for governor. I’ve listened, and I have heard their frustrations with the lack of leadership in Augusta.
I have formed this exploratory committee to help me gauge the full extent of support for my candidacy, because we need a governor who can restore civility to Augusta and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
And when I’m not down in Washington fighting for Maine families, I look forward to traveling across the state to hear your thoughts about how we can work together to build a better future for Maine!
– Mike Michaud
Reactions to announcement:
- “Mike Michaud’s demonstrated commitment to hard working Maine families is second to none. He has the passion and leadership that Maine needs to get our economy going again and to build consensus in Augusta. Mike is a candidate that Democrats will be proud to unite behind and one that all Maine voters can turn to for principled leadership.”
2. Independent Eliot Cutler, who himself has an exploratory commission in place and has not yet formally declared candidacy:
“I welcome Mike Michaud into the race for governor. He has served Maine well in Congress, and I am sorry that he has decided to leave. His departure will leave Maine weaker in Washington.
My candidacy offers Maine voters the only clear alternative to the failed administration of Gov. LePage and the failed policies of the past.
Maine needs a governor who will put the people of Maine first, not the political parties and the special interests on the Left and the Right that finance them and control them. If we put our state first, above party politics, Maine can be both the best place to live and the best place to make a living.
I look forward to a vigorous debate about Maine’s future. I am committed to running a positive campaign that engages Maine people around my plans to make government work again and to create jobs and opportunity for everyone in our state.”
- “While three-decade politician Michael Michaud ‘explores’ a race for Governor, we should explore his record: increasing the deficit, increasing the debt, increasing job-destroying taxes and regulations. We saw the effect of his friend John Baldacci’s term as Governor. We do not need an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average like it was during Baldacci’s term.”
4. WGME video interviews with Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant, House Majority Leader Rep. Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport), Sen. Emily Cain (D-Penobscot) who has expressed interest in running for the 2CD seat if vacant and Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin).