– MATT WICKENHEISER

Staff Writer

PORTLAND – Businessman Shawn Moody announced Wednesday that he will be on the November ballot as an independent candidate for governor.

Moody, 50, of Gorham, owns Moody’s Collision Centers, with operations in Portland, Gorham, Scarborough, Biddeford and Sanford. He spoke at a news conference at the Portland center surrounded by about 20 co-workers, friends and family members. He had collected enough signatures to get on the November ballot, and after seeing the results of Tuesday’s primaries, decided to run, he said.

Moody is new to politics. He started his business at the age of 17, then registered as an unenrolled voter, or independent, when he was 18.

“I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat,” Moody said. “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 employees, who have faced layoffs and furloughs as state officials struggled to balance the state budget.

“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 Wednesday morning.

Moody and his wife, Chris, have three adult children and a son in high school.

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

[email protected]