Eliot Cutler, an independent candidate for governor, turned in more than 4,000 signatures to the state Friday to become the first unenrolled candidate to qualify for the November ballot.

Cutler, an attorney who worked for U.S. Sen. Ed Muskie and President Jimmy Carter, beat the June 1 deadline to turn in his signatures. He’ll face the Democratic and Republican nominees in November. 

A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that Cutler has enough valid signatures to make the ballot.

Maine people can now be assured that there will be a strong, experienced, independent candidate on the ballot this fall,” Cutler’s campaign manager, Ted O’Meara, said in a statement.

There are eight other unenrolled candidates who have expressed an interest in running for governor by signing up with the state ethics commission. They have until June 1 to turn in their signatures.

Cutler’s campaign treasurer, Robert C.S. Monks, is an investor in and a board member of MaineToday Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel, the weekly Coastal Journal in Bath and their respective Web sites.


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