Vowing to fix the “embarrassing” tone in Augusta, Michaud announces Blaine House run
Vowing to put an end to divisive partisan politics and restore leadership in Augusta, Congressman Mike Michaud officially kicked off his campaign for governor in Lewiston Thursday.After spending a few months testing the waters, it was the words Maine Democrats have been hoping to hear Michaud say for awhile.”I’m here today to let you know that I’m running to be your next governor of the state of Maine,” Michaud told the raucous crowd of supporters chanting “I like Mike!!” Michaud has served six terms in the U.S. Congress representing Maine’s second district. Prior to that, he served seven terms in the Maine Legislature, including two in the Maine House of Representatives and five in the State Senate. During his speech Thursday, Michaud touched on rebuilding the middle class, repairing the toxic tone in Augusta and took some shots at the current Governor Paul LePage.”Instead of helping Maine, the current governor’s extreme agenda is hurting. He’s attacked our cities, our towns and our workers. He’s attacked our teachers, our schools and our universities. He’s attacked our environment and our economy.”Michaud urged supporters to get involved and talk to friends and neighbors, saying the time to act is now.”We are at a crossroads. Personal and political attacks are standing in the way of progress. Our state has become a punch line on late night TV. An abrasive ‘my way or the highway’ agenda alienates and divides our people. There are too many folks who are hurting.”After the speech, Michaud spent time talking with supporters as he must now gear up for what is expected to be a tight three way race featuring Michaud, LePage and Independent Eliot Cutler.While talking with the media he was asked whether he was concerned about Cutler siphoning away would-be Democratic votes, a scenario that played out in 2010 paving the way for a LePage victory.”The people of the state of Maine will definitely be looking at the three of us as candidates or other candidates that are in the race. They’ll be making their determination and they’re not going to be able to steal any votes from anyone because the people who make that ultimate decision.”Shortly after the Michaud rally ended, the LePage camp fired back. LePage Senior Political Advisor Brent Littlefield released the following statement:”We welcome Michael Michaud’s entry into a Maine Governor’s race that he will lose next year. While Michaud announces in Governor LePage’s Lewiston childhood home, Governor LePage is saving and creating hundreds of jobs in Michaud’s with the now re-opened mill. While he talks of civility, Michaud’s record is one of extremism and liberalism having supported California’s Nancy Pelosi with votes up to 96% of the time. While Paul LePage is fixing a hospital welfare debt that existed for years, Michael Michaud is advocating more welfare spending that will send Maine back to the growing welfare of the Baldacci years. Maine people know the state cannot afford more Baldacci-Michaud years.”There’s still 15 months until election day but the field is now set for what promises to be a very compelling race for the Blaine House.