A common theme within Maine Republican Politics is the desire to pick the candidate most like the Democrat candidate in order have the best chance to win in a general election in Maine. While this may be true in our federal races with our esteemed Senators, this year’s Governor’s race has a completely different set of rules.
Our Senators win re-election each election cycle for 2 reasons- 1) Name recognition and 2) Because they aren’t as liberal as the Democrat in the race! In the Governor’s race, by the time the general election heats up, name recognition wont be a problem. And as far as not being like a Democrat, Paul LePage fits that description better than any other candidate in the race. You only have to casually follow the news to know that there is an anti-democrat, anti-establishment vibe in the American electorate right now. And back here at home, after 8 years of Baldacci and Democrat Party politics, Mainers are even more ready for a change.
Paul LePage has reached out to the anti-establishment branch of the Maine GOP simply because he is in touch with the kitchen table issues that are facing a majority of regular Maine voters, so immediately that segment of voters will be behind him. Yes, these are the “tea partiers” and other small government citizens that recognize the federal and state governments are spending away our children’s futures with unfunded mandates. This and other core tea party principles that Paul LePage holds as his own speak to personal responsibility and freedom from the overly heavy hand of the government, and are uniting issues for every Republican.
However, type-casting Paul LePage solely as “the tea party candidate” is selling him short. Paul is a team player within the Republican Party, and has worked tirelessly in Waterville to reach out and work with an all Democrat city council since he took the helm as mayor. He has promised to do the same in Augusta, and I believe him. He has led Mardens for more than a decade with a fiscally tough hand, and only by eliminating wasteful spending has that company flourished. He has again promised to do the same with the Augusta bureaucracy- and again, I believe him.
The other argument I hear about Paul is that he is unpolished. However much that is true, it is a plus in the current political climate, not a negative. People of all stripes are fed up with polished politicians being spoon-fed talking points one minute, then doing the opposite the next.
Paul LePage is a proven political leader, and a proven business leader. He is the one candidate that can bring together anti-establishment Republicans with establishment Republicans, and reach out to Independents and other voters disenfranchised with the current leadership in Augusta, to beat whichever candidate the Democrats put up against him.
When asked recently if he could win the general election, Paul responded …
“Yes, you get me the primary in June, and I’ll get you the Blaine House in November!”
…and I believe him.
I promise, if you set aside the sound bytes and just take the time to meet Paul LePage, talk to one of his many supporters that are regular people like you and me, or just research more about him, you will see how genuine this man is in his belief that he can make Maine a better place to live for this and future generations of Mainers.
After June 8th, I will unite behind whomever is the GOP nominee, and I encourage others to do the same. Until then, I’m behind Paul LePage as the one man who can best unite the Maine GOP and other voters of Maine to win the Governor’s race in November.
A Republican from Winterport, and supporter of the LePage campaign