Maine’s four gubernatorial candidates reacted Monday to a state Department of Labor report predicting stagnant job growth through 2026, expressing concern and laying out their plans to fix the problem.

Alan Caron, an independent, called the report a wakeup call and said 50 years of trying old ideas could be blamed for bringing Maine to this point.

“We have to grow tomorrow’s economy rather than try to resuscitate yesterday’s economy. We need leadership that is both visionary and pragmatic and can pull together the best of Maine – from both parties – to get us moving again. We will not get new results by doing the same things we’ve been doing for decades while bouncing back and forth between the two parties. We need real change and independent thinking.”

Terry Hayes, an independent, called for an economic development strategy.

“As governor, I will unite Republicans and Democrats in support of a comprehensive economic development strategy to grow our economy, create jobs and make Maine the best place to work in the country. The path is lit for us. We just have to decide to walk it. Maine needs a focused, clear, data-driven, statewide, long-range strategic plan for economic development.”

Janet Mills, a Democrat, said the report is a warning.

“We simply cannot afford to continue to do the same thing and expect different and better results. As governor, I intend to bring about that change. I will work to rein in the growing costs of health care, train and educate more skilled workers, lower the burden of student debt, and bring broadband internet to every part of the state. Maine needs a new direction.”

Shawn Moody, a Republican, said he can tap his 40 years’ experience as a businessman to attract young people to the state.

“We must continue to reduce red tape, create a stable regulatory environment, lower health care costs, and reduce taxes to make Maine competitive. For years, I have said there is no greater opportunity for upward career mobility for young people in Maine than right now. With record low unemployment this is a great time to recruit our own young people to return home and bring their talents and skills back to Maine to continue their career.”

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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