PORTLAND — Maine Republicans reinvigorated by the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts and voter discontent over the economy and health care are gathering for their state convention.

About 1,500 Republicans are attending the two-day event that kicked off today at the Portland Expo. Sen. Olympia Snowe told attendees that Republicans have their best opportunity in years to send a GOP governor to Augusta and to elect Republican majorities in the Legislature. Sen. Susan Collins is scheduled to speak at 1:40 p.m. today,

Highlights on both days include appearances by all seven Republican gubernatorial candidates, who’re seeking to drum up support before the June 8 primary.

The candidates will appear at a debate tonight. They’ll get another chance to sway party loyalists when they address the convention Saturday.

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