Michaud makes gubernatorial bid official, hits the ground running

Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Politics

Michaud makes gubernatorial bid official, hits the ground running

by Andi Parkinson

In what was an expected move, five-term Congressman Mike Michaud formally announced his intentions to run for Governor of Maine on Thursday of last week. He chose Lewiston, long a stronghold of his and birthplace of Paul LePage, as the site of his announcement and immediately drew attention to his Republican rival's long history of national attention grabbing, negative comments as he promised to restore dignity to the state:

"The tone in Augusta has turned into endless strings of angry rants and partisan, personal attacks," Michaud said. "It's a shame and an embarrassment but it's not the way we do things here in Maine. That's not the Maine that I know. It's not the Maine that we all love.

"A path that honors the hard work of Mainers who get up every day and punch the clock. Who fishes our seas, who builds our ships, who waits on tables, teaches our kids and cares for our elderly . . . who grows our food, who repairs our streets, who builds our houses. That's who I'm here to fight for.

"We are at a crossroads. Personal and political attacks are standing in the way of progress. Our state has become a punch line on late night TV. An abrasive 'my way or the highway' agenda alienates and divides our people. There are too many folks who are hurting."

Michaud showed his supporters his newly acquired, custom-made New Balance campaign shoes, made in Maine - and then spent the next few days canvassing much of the state with stops Friday in his hometown of Millinocket (a meet-and-greet at the New England Outdoor Center) and crossing the state to chat with Republicans at Scarborough's Summerfest that evening.  On Saturday, Michaud was on hand to kick off a Portland Democratic canvas early Saturday morning before appearing at a 10 a.m. rally for Sagadahoc Dem's Eloise Vitelli (Senate District 19 candidate) in Bath. 

Mike had the winning bid for Eloise Vitelli's charity box lunch for the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Family Festival to benefit the Bath Area Food Bank. State Sen. Troy Jackson was also on hand, helping with the event and supporting Mike and Eloise. (Photo courtesy of Mike Michaud for Governor FB page)

Troy Jackson, Mike Michaud and Eloise Vitelli at Neighbor Helping Neighbor festival, benefitting the Bath Area Food Bank, at Library Park in Bath. (contributed photo)

From Bath, Michaud and Maine's new Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Aroostock,  traveled to host the Hancock County Dems' Great Democracy Auction fundraiser with fellow Dems and 2CD hopefuls State Senator Emily Cain, D-Orono, and Bangor City Councillor Joe Baldacci.  Jackson, too, is expected to announce a bid soon for the second district. Along the way, Michaud had a few more stops - the Lincoln County Democrats Lobster Bake in Walpole and the Knox County Democrats' lobster bake in Owls Head.

On Sunday, Michaud and NH Governor Maggie Hassan were at the Maine Democratic Party's lobster bake in Freeport, then Monday he cheerfully manned the phones in Portland, calling supporters and ending the day with an interview with WCSH's "207".

In the interview, Michaud spoke of his experiences in the Legislature and Congress, and  how he intends to work with members of both parties.  He also laid out his plans and focuses for his first gubernatorial term, should he be elected.

Where next? Who knows - but from what is being witnessed so far, one can expect this will be an energetic, high-profile and statewide campaign.

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