PORTLAND—Businessman Shawn Moody announced today that he would be on the November ballot as an independent candidate for governor.

 

Moody, 50, of Gorham, owns Moody Collision Centers, with operations in Portland, Gorham, Scarborough, Biddeford and Sanford. He spoke at a press conference at the Portland center surrounded by about 20 co-workers, friends and family members.

 

Moody is new to politics. He started his business 30 years ago, at the age of 17.

 

Moody said he registered as an unenrolled, or independent, voter when he was 18.

 

“I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat,” said Moody. “I’m not a conservative, I’m not a liberal.”

 

Moody said he was primarily concerned with supporting small businesses in Maine, as well as empowering and energizing state workers.

 

“We’ve got to grow our way out of this mess, we’ve got to fuel small business,” he said.

 

He joins a field with four other candidates: Republican Paul LePage of Waterville, Democrat Elizabeth Mitchell of Vassalboro and independents Eliot Cutler of Cape Elizabeth and Kevin Scott of Andover.

 

“What’s cool about this campaign is voters have a choice,” Moody said.

 

According to recent campaign finance reports, Moody has lent his campaign $500,000, and his TV ads began running this morning.

 

“We’re in this thing to win it,” said Moody. “It’s serious.”