Independent Eliot Cutler, who lost a close race to Republican Gov. Paul LePage in 2010, is “considerably closer to making a formal announcement later this year” that he will run for governor again in 2014, according to an email issued Thursday by his campaign organization.
The email states that Cutler has been meeting with Mainers and raising money for a 2014 campaign.
“No one wants to avoid a repeat of 2010 more than I do, and I will run only if I can win a three-way race. So far everything suggests that I can,” wrote Cutler, who surged past Democrat Elizabeth Mitchell late during the 2010 election, but fell less than 2 percentage points short of LePage.
LePage hasn’t formally announced his re-election plans, but he told a chamber of commerce gathering Wednesday in Portland that he’s likely to seek a second term.
Democrats vow to nominate a strong candidate to challenge LePage and Cutler. They are eagerly awaiting a decision from 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud on whether he’ll run. Former Gov. John Baldacci has said he would consider another run at the Blaine House if Michaud or 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree didn’t seek the party’s nomination.
Pingree announced last month that she will not run for governor in 2014.
At present, Yarmouth businessman Steve Woods is the only Democrat to declare as a candidate for governor.
— Robert Long