With three days left until Election Day, Maine’s candidates for governor are looking to rally their supporters over the final weekend of the campaign and inspire voters to head to the polls on Tuesday.

The Maine Democratic Party on Friday held a rally at the Portland Public Library aimed at turning out women voters to support U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud for governor.

At the same time, Republican Gov. Paul LePage was touring businesses in Lewiston and Yarmouth, and plans to hold a rally in the Portland area on Monday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association who has been to Maine four times.

Independent Eliot Cutler, meanwhile, was campaigning in the Bangor area Friday and planned to be in southern Maine this weekend.

Speakers at the Michaud rally included national representatives of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions. They touched on a range of issues – from health care, to paid sick leave, to climate change – and emotions – from fear of another four years of LePage to hope for a Michaud administration to the evocation of Michaud’s late mother.

The thread throughout it all, however, was getting out the vote.


“Women can make a critical difference in this election,” U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said. “We all know what it’s like. It’s not a presidential election. Women are so busy picking up their kids, getting to the store, making ends meet, doing an extra shift – there isn’t a lot of time to remember to vote.”

“Women need Mike,” she said.

Independent polling shows Michaud running neck and neck with LePage. Cutler, who lost a key endorsement when popular U.S. Sen. Angus King announced he was now supporting Michaud, is a distant third in the polls and pulling back on TV ads.

Kings wife, Mary Herman, on Friday threw her support behind Michaud.

“I’ve known Mike for longer than I have known Angus King,” said Herman, a former lobbyist for the Maine Women’s Lobby. “It’s time we had a governor in Maine who will lift people up. Let’s get out the vote. Let’s move Maine forward. It’s going to happen.”

AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler said that “unions are the best way to close the wage gap and we all know Gov. LePage wants to crush the unions.” She lamented that women’s issues were only the No. 2 issue this year, behind the economy. “We are the economy,” she said.


NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue complimented Michaud for evolving from an abortion opponent to a supporter of a woman’s right to choose. “This is the kind of leader we need to lift up for the country to see,” said Hogue, imploring people to share their support for Michaud on social networking sites and through personal conversations.

Michaud told the energetic crowd of roughly 75 supporters to keep knocking on doors and talking to their friends and neighbors.

“These next four days are going to be crucial, but I know we can do it,” said Michaud, who will hold a rally Saturday morning with two national union presidents – AFL-CIO’s Leo Gerard and United Steel Workers of America’s Richard Trumpka.

LePage spent Friday morning in Lewiston touring businesses, meeting Republican state legislative candidates, and later in Yarmouth, heralding the opening of a dental assistant program that will begin training sessions in November for positions that traditionally pay about $35,000.

“This is absolutely the type of thing that I’ve been speaking of for months and years,” LePage said. “Entrepreneurs, the job creators, people who give opportunities and take the risk, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here, as a governor I can watch them create the jobs, create the opportunities and I can be here to say I can help whenever I can. If you need our help we’re just a phone call away.”

Quipping about the election, LePage joked about his own job prospects, too.


“I may call you next Wednesday for an application,” LePage said. “You never know.”

However, outside the Yarmouth dental office, LePage said he believes the die has been cast for his election prospects.

“It’s over. It’s over. I don’t know what wins it or loses it. But I’m certain this election’s been over,” LePage said. “And it’s very clear to me, if you want prosperity, if you want honesty, I’m the guy. If you want dishonesty and an empty suit, then you have a choice with Mike Michaud.”

LePage will hold two rallies Monday, including an afternoon event in York County, according to campaign spokesman Alex Willette. LePage will be in Portland at 7:30 p.m. for another rally with Christie.

Cutler was campaigning Friday in the Bangor area, visiting businesses and conducting interviews with television and radio stations, according to his spokeswoman, Crystal Canney.

After attending a hunters’ breakfast in Old Town on Saturday, Cutler plans to be in southern Maine for the rest of the day, including a house party. On Sunday, Cutler will be campaigning in the greater South Portland area before ending the day with a private house party, Canney said.

Get-out-the-vote operations are expected to decide this election. In that regard, Cutler is at a disadvantage, not having the financial or structural support of a political party. Canney said the campaign would be relying on volunteers to make phone calls and knock on doors during the final days.

“We’ll have some field staff, but we’re not going to have as many as the parties, that’s for sure,” she said.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne contributed to this report.

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