Two state legislative leaders are on the verge of hopping into the Governor’s race. State House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport), an ally of Gov. Paul LePage (R), formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee but left no doubt that he is planning to run. State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R-Lisbon Falls), who was an active supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2016 Maine presidential primary, is also planning to soon announce his statewide candidacy.
Both men are from the Republican Party’s conservative wing. This will make former Health & Human Services Department Secretary Mary Mayhew’s path to the GOP nomination more difficult in that she, Mason, and Fredette all generally come from the same ideological sector. Should Sen. Susan Collins (R) become a gubernatorial contender, and she says a decision will be forthcoming in the fall, the new candidate configuration would help divide the conservative base, possibly allowing the centrist Senator to attract enough support to win the nomination.
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