Incumbent Janet Mills (D), Paul LePage (R), and Sam Hunkler (I) are running in the general election for governor of Maine on November 8, 2022.
Mills was first elected governor in 2018 and is seeking a second term. LePage served as governor from 2011 to 2019 and is seeking a third term. Mills is the state’s first female governor and a LePage win would make him the longest-serving governor in state history.
Mills was elected governor after serving as Maine’s attorney general for eight years during LePage’s administration. Mills also served four terms as the district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties. She was the first woman elected to each of these positions. Mills says that she has worked across the aisle to deliver progress as governor and would continue to address the following issues in a second term: expanding health care, fully funding Maine’s public schools, preserving Maine’s lands and waters, and fighting climate change.
LePage was elected governor after serving as the mayor of Waterville, Maine, for seven years. He also served two terms on the Waterville City Council. LePage criticizes Mills’ performance as governor and highlights his own record, saying that his vision for Maine is “to create prosperity through a lower overall tax burden for residents and businesses; a smaller, more efficient state government that we can all afford; protecting our most vulnerable populations (our children, our seniors and persons with disabilities), empowering parents’ rights to decide their children’s future, and managing a welfare system that serves as a safety net for the truly needy – not a free for all.”
Both candidates responded to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision on abortion by clarifying their positions on the issue. Mills says, “Maine, our only chance at defending the right to safe and legal abortion will be this November at the ballot box. If given a chance, my opponent will dismantle reproductive rights across Maine. We must vote like our freedom to choose is on the line — because it is.”
LePage says, “As the child of a severely dysfunctional family, with domestic abuse that left me homeless, I know my mother faced difficult decisions and I am glad she chose life. The federal government has regularly prohibited taxpayer abortion funding, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger; and I have supported that policy and would continue to do so.”
This is one of 36 gubernatorial elections taking place in 2022. The governor serves as a state’s top executive official and is the only executive office that is elected in all 50 states. There are currently 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors.
Maine has had both a Democratic trifecta and a Democratic triplex since 2019. As of September 6, 2022, there are 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.
A state government trifecta refers to a situation where one party controls a state’s governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party.