Candidates seek distance from LePage, each other in Portland debate

PORTLAND, Maine — Whoever wins the election to become Maine’s next governor, the temperament of the Blaine House occupant will be starkly different in 2019 than it has been for the past eight years.

That was one takeaway from Wednesday morning’s gubernatorial debate before the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, an event that kicked off a two-day sprint of debates for the four candidates trying to make lasting impressions on voters in the month or so before Election Day.

Republican Shawn Moody, Democrat Janet Mills and independents Alan Caron and Terry Hayes are also slated to make their cases in debates in Westbrook, Waterville and Rockland through Thursday night.

[Will more debates wake up a torpid Maine governor’s race?]

They are all seeking to replace current Gov. Paul LePage, a two-term Republican known nationwide for being a political brawler whose off-color comments have often grabbed more headlines than his policy proposals.

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