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Steve Abbott Joins the Race for Governor 

An already crowded field in this year’s race for governor got even larger on Tuesday.Steve Abbott, who spent the last 12 years as chief of staff for Senator Susan Collins, threw his hat into the ring, joining six other republicans. Abbott, who grew up in Orono and now lives in Portland, says the state needs to get a handle on spending. One of the first things he’d do in office is order an audit of all state government spending. Abbott said: “We’d then use that audit to change the way we do budgeting. Budget increases, or decreases for that matter, should not just be spread across the board. We need zero-based budgeting. Good programs should receive support. Programs that aren’t performing should be restructured or eliminated.” Abbott is also calling for the reform of social services programs, saying the state offers some of the most generous welfare benefits in the country. He supports strengthening the governor’s line item veto power.