Democratic gubernatorial nominee Libby Mitchell of Vassalboro took a two-hour stroll down Maine Street in Brunswick on Friday afternoon, stopping at several local businesses and chatting with owners and customers.

Mitchell’s casual campaigning led her to the Brunswick House of Pizza; Jenney Station, a tobacco shop; the Red Dragon, a toy store; the Little Dog Cafe; and Norway Savings Bank, among other businesses.

Joining Mitchell were state Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, and Steven W. Wallace, president and executive director of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce.

Concerns about finding affordable health insurance, both for individuals and business owners, was the issue most often discussed with Mitchell, although the smoke shop owner gently needled her about past tax increases on tobacco products.

Mitchell said that because she is a publicly funded candidate, she has more time to meet with voters and listen to their concerns, rather than spending time fundraising — or “dialing for dollars,” as she called it.

MOODY UP NORTH

Independent gubernatorial candidate Shawn Moody of Gorham announced he will tour parts of northern and eastern Maine alongside Bob Crowley, a former Gorham High School teacher and winner of the TV show competition “Survivor,” next week.

The pair will hold meet-and-greets in Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Bangor and Ellsworth, and meet with voters at truck stops, diners, county fairs and restaurants along the way, according to a news release.

LET’S PLAY NICE

Moody, reacting to some early dust-ups in the five-person gubernatorial race, signed a pledge crafted by the Maine Council of Churches for clean campaigning leading up to the November election.

“Mud season is over, but we’re already starting to see the mudslinging in this campaign, and it’s time for it to stop before it gets worse,” Moody said in a news release.

The pledge asks candidates to adhere to basic principles of “truth, honesty and mutual respect for opposing ideas,” according to the release. Moody made a point of saying that political action committees promoting candidates should also adhere to higher principles.

LEVESQUE TO HIT TRAIL

Republican Jason Levesque, running to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, announced he’s embarking on a summer “Maine Street” tour. The Auburn businessman will visit downtowns throughout northern and eastern Maine to speak with business owners and other Mainers.

“The small businesses that fill our main streets and downtowns are truly the backbone of the economy,” he said in a news release. “I look forward to speaking with these business owners and listening to them and their patrons about the issues.”

LAWMAKERS OPPOSE WAR SPENDING

Michaud and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, voted Tuesday to oppose a $37 billion war spending bill, citing concerns about how long the efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue.

“I support the president’s goals of defeating al-Qaida and reducing the threat of global terrorism. However, as we enter our ninth year of this war, our brave troops and their families are being strained by multiple redeployments,” Michaud said in a statement. “The cost of the war has now exceeded $1 trillion, with billions of dollars more that will be needed to continue our current strategy in the region. With an investment of people and resources of this magnitude, I feel obligated to continue to call on the president to provide Congress and the American people with a firm plan and timeline for troop withdrawal, including a set date when U.S. forces will be completely out of Afghanistan.”

Pingree said the loss of American lives is unacceptable and the money being spent on the wars would be better used reducing the deficit and helping the economy recover.

“We spend $7 billion a month on the war in Afghanistan and every day it becomes more and more clear that we are pursuing a failed strategy that doesn’t make America any safer,” Pingree said in a statement. “It’s time to bring our troops and that money home.”

 

Compiled by MaineToday Media State House Bureau Staff Writers Susan M. Cover and Rebekah Metzler.