June 2, 2010

Three unenrolled candidates qualify for governor's race

Maine voters will have five people to choose from to replace Gov. John Baldacci.

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA - Maine voters will have five choices for governor on the November ballot: three unenrolled candidates and one each from the two major parties.

Eliot Cutler of Cape Elizabeth, Shawn Moody of Gorham and Kevin Scott of Andover all met Tuesday's deadline for independent candidates to turn in at least 4,000 verified signatures to the Secretary of State's Office. The signatures had to be certified as authentic by town and city voter registrars.

Cutler was President Jimmy Carter's principal energy adviser from 1977-80 and later founded a law firm specializing in environmental and land use matters.

Scott, a Rumford native and a licensed public water system operator, established Recruiting Resources International, an employment firm that places professionals in engineering assignments with U.S.-based companies, according to his website.

Moody is the owner and operator of Moody's Collision Centers in Gorham and Scarborough.

Those three will join the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries on the ballot Nov. 2.

On June 8, Democrats will choose between Patrick McGowan, Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell, Steven Rowe or Rosa Scarcelli. Republicans will choose between Steve Abbott, Bill Beardsley, Matt Jacobson, Waterville Mayor Paul LePage, state Sen. Peter Mills, Les Otten or Bruce Poliquin.

University of Maine political science professor Mark Brewer said he doubts Scott or Moody can have much of an impact on the election, but Cutler "is in a different league" given his political background and capacity to generate significant financial support.

The anti-government, anti-establishment sentiment that has marked this year's politics could also work to Cutler's advantage, Brewer said.

"If Cutler could tap into that, then maybe he's a player," he said. And depending on who the major parties nominate, "Cutler could have a big impact."

Alex Hammer of Bangor, who hoped to run as an independent, said in a news release Tuesday that he may sue the state because he disagrees with the secretary of state's determination that he didn't submit enough valid signatures.

When he turned in the documents last week, a state worker called security when she became concerned about his behavior, said Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn.

"They tried to get (the papers) back to him because they weren't complete," Flynn said. "It was escalating. He was getting very heated, so we didn't know where that was going to go."

the time Capitol Security arrived, Hammer had left the building.

Police then followed up with a call to Hammer's home, which is standard procedure, said Capitol Security Director Russell Gauvin.

Hammer said he did not get upset.

"He (the secretary of state) is saying I was agitated, but that's not true. I was not agitated," Hammer said. "I declined to take my nominations back."

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

MaineToday Media State House Reporter Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: scover@centralmaine.com

 

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