WESTBROOK – Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Abbott wasn’t discouraged by the torrential rain as he entered the last weekend before the Tuesday primary with a morning stop at a pancake breakfast.

“It keeps the flies down,” Abbott joked.

In the last week, Abbott has taken a page from the campaign playbook of his former boss, Sen. Susan Collins. He’s touring the state with supporters in a big motor coach bus and has spent two days in York County, two in Cumberland County and one each in Penobscot, Aroostook and Kennebec counties.

The bus is a big, visible and mobile campaign advertisement, and it carries a bunch of enthusiastic campaign supporters to various communities to show support. It also energizes supporters and keeps them involved in the campaign, said Abbott.

York, in particular, is key to the election, said Abbott. No candidate has an actual base there. And he’s gotten endorsements from legislators and newspapers in the region, and visits to towns and cities there keep reinforcing that, said Abbott.

Standing under the tent at Boy Scout Troop 83’s pancake breakfast, Abbott was a tall figure in a yellow rain slicker. His bus unloaded a group of supporters, including his wife, Amy, and his daughter, Hannah.

“Hi — Steve Abbott, nice to meet you,” he greeted one table, before chatting for a bit with a few people.

Abbott said he’s noticed a real change in people he’s met recently.

“They all want to know (the candidates) personally,” he said.

Mainers have seen the candidates on televised debates, they’ve seen them on commercials, they’ve read about them in the media. They know the hopefuls’ positions on the economy, health care, education and other topics, said Abbott. Now they want to see how comfortable they are with the candidates. They want to know where they grew up, what kind of family they have, he said.

The next governor will be making thousands of decisions that will affect the welfare of Maine and its residents, Abbott said. And voters want to make sure they’re comfortable with the people who they may vote for, who will potentially be making those decisions.

 

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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