Cutler staying in governor’s race

Eliot Cutler

Eliot Cutler

ELLSWORTH — Just one week before the Nov. 4 election and despite polls showing he is trailing, independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler said Wednesday he is not stepping down from the race.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Cutler Wednesday urged voters to stand strong amid the “politics of fear gripping this election.”

“I’m a realist about my chances, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to kowtow to polls,” the Portland Press Herald quoted Cutler as saying at a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Portland.

Cutler urged voters to vote for him.

“If you are sick and tired of money in politics, vote for me,” the Press Herald quoted Cutler as saying.

Cutler, 68, said in an early campaign appearance months ago that voters should turn their support to another candidate if they thought Cutler could not win.

“What I have told everybody is I will make a deal with you,” he said to a voter worried he would split the vote, throwing the race to incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage.

“If you think the day before the election that I can’t win, you have my blessing to go with someone else,” he said at that time in an appearance at a pub in Gouldsboro.

The campaign intensified recently when the Republican Governors Association began running ads that criticize Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and support Cutler.

The ad depicts U.S. Sen. Angus King’s endorsement of Cutler along with negative comments about Michaud.

King said the ads were not honest. He said they were trying to promote one candidate on the surface — Cutler — while underneath it attempting to erode support for Michaud and enhance LePage’s chances of winning re-election.

The most recent polls show LePage and Michaud tied at 40 percent each with Cutler trailing with 13 percent.

In the 2010 race, late October polls had Cutler’s support rocketing ahead from 14 percent to 31 percent.

Cutler lost to LePage in the 2010 gubernatorial election by a slim 10,000 votes. The Democratic candidate that year was Libby Mitchell.

There also were recent reports that Cutler’s current cash on hand is significantly less than LePage or Michaud. Cutler, a successful attorney, has reportedly loaned his campaign $1 million.

Born and raised in Bangor, Cutler is a former environmental lawyer and former staff member to U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie. In that role, he helped craft the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

He was associate director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science in the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration.

Cutler was a founding partner of Cutler & Stanfield LLP, which became the second largest environmental law firm in the country.

After the firm merged with Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in 2000, Cutler opened an office for the firm in Beijing.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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