The man who served as the first tribal representative for the Houlton Band of Maliseets in the Maine Legislature has taken the first step toward running for governor next year as a Democrat.
David Slagger set up a committee with the Maine Ethics Commission on Monday that will allow him to start raising money for next year’s gubernatorial contest.
Slagger, who lives in Kenduskeag, served one term in the Legislature as the Maliseets’ representative. As the tribal representative, however, he said he was frustrated he could not vote and said last spring he didn’t plan to continue serving as the Maliseets’ representative.
He ran unsuccessfully in November for the House District 22 seat as an independent, losing to Rep. Stacey Geurin, R-Glenburn.
Slagger is the second Democrat to form a campaign committee for next year’s gubernatorial campaign. Steve Woods, who ran as an independent for Maine’s open U.S. Senate last year, filed paperwork late last month to run for governor.
Independent Eliot Cutler and Republican Gov. Paul LePage have also formed campaign committees, though neither has said for sure whether he plans to join next year’s race. LePage has raised more than $200,000 for a re-election bid. Former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci is also weighing another Blaine House run.
As Baldacci considers a run, he has increasingly found himself the target of criticism from LePage, who has cited his predecessor as the reason some of his new initiatives are needed in advance of next year’s gubernatorial election.