Clinton stumps in Maine for Mitchell

AP News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2010 2:10 PM
Clinton stumps in Maine for Mitchell

PORTLAND, Maine _ Former President Bill Clinton returned to Maine on Sunday to campaign for Democrat Libby Mitchell as she and four other candidates for governor ramped up their get-out-the-vote efforts.

Clinton's visit to the Lewiston Armory was his second stop in Maine in five weeks to campaign for Mitchell, who's sagging in polls to third in the five-way race behind Republican front-runner Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Independents Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott, who lag far behind, round out the field for Tuesday's balloting.

The former president addressed a standing-room-only crowd in South Portland in late September to drum up support for Mitchell.

Sunday's rally came as the other candidates for the state's open gubernatorial seat made their final appeals for votes across the state. Activists attending the event featuring Clinton were asked to sign up for get-out-the-vote volunteer shifts to help Mitchell and other Democratic candidates.

Clinton told a crowd of about 750 to 800 people that Republicans dug the nation into a hole. The GOP is more concerned with Wall Street than Main Street, he said.

"If you want to get the treat, you've got to avoid the trick," he said during the Halloween-morning event.

He praised Mitchell's record on jobs, education, energy and taxes, and urged young people to cast their ballots.

"Any young person who doesn't vote this Tuesday is playing Russian roulette with their future," he said.

Mitchell also addressed the crowd, as did U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree and term-limited Gov. John Baldacci.

Cutler was wrapping up his campaign with a "Jobs and Opportunity Tour" bus tour of Maine, which began in Madawaska on Friday and is to conclude with a rally in downtown Portland on Monday afternoon. Among the other scheduled stops were Bangor, Eastport, Rockland, Augusta, Auburn, Sanford, Kittery and Saco.

Moody, playing off the Cutler bus tour, planned a "Pickup Truck Tour" in which he'll visit restaurants and shopping areas to greet voters.

"We're gonna hit 'em hard," said his daughter and campaign staffer.

LePage, who kicked off a "People Before Politics" tour in early October, planned to visit rural Maine towns Sunday while Clinton was in the state, said his campaign.

For the final frantic days before the elections, voters have been bombarded with TV ads and mailers promoting candidates or attacking their opponents in races for governor as well as U.S. House and some legislative seats. Both major parties made a final push during the weekend to persuade Mainers to vote.