November 28, 2010

Incoming speaker: 'I have the temperament'

Rep. Robert Nutting says hunting helped him develop the requisite patience.

By Susan M. Cover
State House Bureau

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Robert Nutting, speaker of the House

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IN PROFILE: Robert Nutting

AGE: 63

TOWN: Oakland

OCCUPATION: Pharmacist

GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: 10 years, Maine House of Representatives; Oakland Town Council

EDUCATION: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston

"Prior to the election, we had no idea we would take the majority in the House," he said. "I was a candidate for assistant minority leader. Then the world turned upside down on Nov. 2, and at that point, everyone was rethinking their position."

A five-way race led into four rounds of voting, after which Nutting was finally declared the winner.

"I think I have the temperament to be a good speaker," he said. "I thought the last speaker, Hannah (Pingree), was an outstanding speaker. She conducted the House with respect to our time ... and going out of her way not to embarrass people."

While presiding over the House, speakers can make members who don't understand parliamentary procedure look silly. Nutting has seen it, and says he's won't try to embarrass people just because he's presiding over the House.

Nutting does advise new members that being a legislator requires patience.

He compares it to hunting, something he enjoyed over the years with friends.

"You need to go sit on a stump out in the woods, just sitting there listening and thinking for hours," he said. "Hunting is great training for the Legislature."

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


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