Republicans who want LePage’s job jockey for his voters in final debate before primary
Good morning from Augusta. Maine’s televised primary debates ended on Thursday after three networks hosted the four Republican gubernatorial candidates in Augusta. It opened with an attack on businessman Shawn Moody, but the hopefuls largely stayed in their own lanes.
Moody backed further away from moderate positions he held in the past, former Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew tacked hard to the right and the two legislators, Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette dinged Moody less than in the past while pitching themselves as pragmatists.
Mason’s early attack on a Moody mailer backfired with a pro-Moody audience. Moody recently sent a mailer to Republicans that hit all of his opponents, including Mason for his use of taxpayer campaign funds to recruit staffers from Florida. He went to a Christian college there and has run an internship programfor Senate Republican campaigns since 2014.
After being asked how to keep young people in Maine, Mason jumped quickly to hit Moody, saying he was attacking people who have chosen to stay in Maine and that he should “apologize to them.” Laughter and murmurs came from a Moody-friendly crowd and Moody deflected the hit by calling it “negative and abrasive,” generating hoots from the audience.
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