AUGUSTA – After independent gubernatorial candidate Kevin Scott’s troubled driving record with dozens of offenses and license suspensions came to light, he said Wednesday he’s turning the corner on his bad behind-the-wheel habits.

“It shows I’m a person,” Scott said. “I made some mistakes.”

Maine motor vehicle records show Scott has 35 motor vehicle convictions and has had his driver’s license suspended 21 times. Scott, 42, has an active license now but said a volunteer has been driving him to appearances in his low-budget campaign.

“I don’t mean to make light of it, but people overcome bad habits every day, and this is what I’ve done,” he said.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles records list convictions dating to 1989. The bulk of the violations are for speeding, with others for operating after suspension, failure to show proof of insurance and failure to show a valid inspection sticker. The latest conviction was in April 2010 for speeding 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Suspensions are for repeat violations.

Scott is among five candidates in the race for governor. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, whose office oversees motor vehicle laws, said the other candidates have fairly typical records for Maine drivers, some with a few driving convictions but none nearly as extensive as Scott’s.

“They’re average,” Dunlap said.

Scott is one of three independents in the governor’s race, along with Eliot Cutler and Shawn Moody. They are competing against Republican Paul LePage and Democrat Libby Mitchell to replace Gov. John Baldacci, a term-limited Democrat. A recent poll shows LePage and Mitchell leading the pack.

The matter of driving records came up during a televised gubernatorial debate Saturday, when the candidates were asked how many points, or marks for infractions that can lead to suspension, they had on their records. Most have negative points, which are awarded for driving without violations.

While acknowledging his own driving record, Scott said some violations are from more than two decades ago and they don’t seem to be an issue with voters.