Shortly after announcing he will leave the political arena, Maine Gov. Paul LePage offered his support to Republican candidate Shawn Moody, a businessman who has campaigned on continuing LePage's policies.
"Shawn Moody all the way," said LePage at a Monday news conference. "He's a lot more politically correct than I am, and he will soften down the office."
Moody, who has built a successful collision center business, campaigned alongside LePage's wife in the Bangor area. LePage's daughter, Lauren, is running the Moody campaign.
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Recent polls show Democratic candidate Janet Mills with a slight edge over Moody.
"There’s no question that Shawn Moody is running as the chosen successor of Paul LePage," said Chair of the Maine Democrats, Phil Bartlett. "What we're hearing in the field is that people are ready for a change. They want a new direction, and we know Janet can deliver that."
Mills is Maine's first female attorney general and could become Maine's first female Governor. She has emerged as a foil to LePage, clashing with him regularly on policy. LePage attempted to sue her for abuse of power, and she threatened to sue him over funding for the attorney general's office.
Now Maine voters will decide to elect a friend of LePage or one of his biggest political foes to succeed him.
Bartlett believes voters are tired of the gridlock in Washington D.C. and in Augusta, Maine and will support Democratic candidates this midterm election. He thinks voters motivated by health care will come out in large numbers for Mills. LePage stated voters confident in the economy will vote for Moody.
Independent Terry Hayes, Maine’s state treasurer, is running against Mills and Moody. Polling shows her trailing far behind both candidates.