The Bangor Daily News, a major daily newspaper in Maine, has again endorsed independent candidate Eliot Cutler for governor. The paper also endorsed Cutler during the 2010 election, which he lost to Republican Paul LePage by less than 10,000 votes.
As Cutler has been polling at smaller numbers this election cycle, there have been plenty of cries from the left for him to drop out of the race in order to clear a path for Democrat candidate Rep. Mike Michaud. In their endorsement, Bangor Daily News makes it clear that they feel as though both major parties have failed to develop suitable candidates for the job and that Cutler is the best-qualified candidate.
It is not a mistake to vote for the candidate who is most qualified for the job. It is not a mistake to vote for the candidate who has put forward the most detailed and thoughtful solutions to some of Maine’s most pressing problems — such as a high property tax burden and a stagnant economy. And it is not a mistake to vote for a candidate who will restore serious policymaking to the governor’s office and ensure government works on issues that are most important to Maine’s future.
Michaud presents himself as the antidote to LePage’s divisiveness and has done well to weather attacks from both the governor and Cutler. But he has come up short in proposing a full array of well thought-out policy priorities and ways to pay for them. A full pendulum swing back to big-government solutions and a preference for out-moded industries is not the way to move Maine forward. Convening working groups and listening can be productive, but without decisive moves forward, this is not leadership.
Cutler appears a long shot to win this election, but he is the best candidate running. He would bring needed dignity and a reasonable, business-like approach to the governor’s office. He has our support on Nov. 4.
Gov. LePage was elected in 2010 with just under 37 percent of the vote. His predecessor, John Baldacci (D), was re-elected with 38 percent of the vote. Maine's governor has been elected with a majority vote just twice (1982 and 1998) in the past 40 years.
Polls show that LePage and Michaud are essentially tied.