PORTLAND — The three Democrats who lost to Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell in the gubernatorial primary came together with the nominee Wednesday in a show of party unity as the focus of the 2010 election shifts to November.

Patrick McGowan, former Department of Conservation commissioner, spoke first, his voice nearly gone after a grueling final push on the campaign trail. McGowan finished fourth in Tuesday’s primary with 20 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

“My family is a good group of Democrats, and we got together last night and said we can get behind Libby Mitchell. And she will be a great governor for the state of Maine,” said McGowan of Hallowell.

The Maine Democratic Party organized the news conference in Portland to put forward a public face of unity after the six-month primary campaign.

Mitchell, of Vassalboro, won with 35 percent of the vote and will face four competitors — one Republican and three independents — in November.

Mitchell, a former House speaker, teacher and Maine State Housing Authority director, said she will borrow good ideas from her primary opponents as part of her platform.

“I’m going to take pages — and it’s not plagiarism, because they’ve offered them to me — pages from the books of all of these candidates,” she said. “We are going to win in November because we’re the party of the future of Maine.”

Rosa Scarcelli, who runs a housing company, called it “a tremendous honor” to have been part of the race. The Portland resident finished third, with 22 percent of the vote.

“We can certainly win in November because we’ve all worked together,” she said.

Former Attorney General Steve Rowe, also of Portland, said the candidates and their campaigns shared a mutual respect. He earned 23 percent of the vote on Tuesday.

“One thing we did is we all traveled on the high road,” he said. “Today, we’re here to talk about unity, which is very easy for us because we do share the ideas and the values of the Democratic Party.”

 

MaineToday Media State House Reporter Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:

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