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Candidates running unopposed prepare for Maine's November election

Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage are both running unopposed in the gubernatorial race with their sights set on November.

MAINE, USA — With only a handful of nominees for respective parties being determined on Primary Day in Maine, candidates running unopposed are gearing up for the November election. 

In Farmington, Maine Gov. Janet Mills cast her ballot in her hometown and greeted voters. 

"We want to continue that leadership," Mills said. "Continue improving our economy, recovering from the pandemic, addressing issues of supply chain and workforce." 

Mills does not have a challenger in her party, and neither does her expected Republican opponent, former Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who is seeking his third term in the Blaine House.

"Are you better today than you were four years ago? If you are, then I'm not your person," LePage said. "But if you were better off four years ago than you are today, then I'm definitely your person and we can make it better." 

LePage spent the primary meeting with voters at various polling locations. LePage says he's already ramping up his campaign, and is holding events and meeting with constituents roughly six days a week.

"The message is the same whether you're in Madawaska, Bangor, Portland, or Kittery," LePage said. "It's all about the economy, it's about our schools, voter ID. It's all the things we want done." 

Mills did not offer any comments on her expected opponent come November, and says instead she's focusing on visiting with Maine people ahead of the election and her current work as governor. 

"We've got a lot of challenges ahead of us," Mills said. "We've got a lot of challenges behind us. And we met those challenges head-on. I will continue to do that over the next four years as the governor of the state of Maine."

The gubernatorial race isn't the only one in Maine with candidates running unopposed.

In Maine's 2nd Congressional District, Democrat incumbent Jared Golden is unopposed in his party. Independent candidate Tiffany Bond is also running and will be on the ballot in November. Neither candidate did any major campaigning during Tuesday's primary. 

In Maine's 1st Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree is also running unopposed and wasn't campaigning on Tuesday.

Pingree is expected to be challenged by political newcomer Ed Thelander, a Republican from Bristol in CD1. Thelander spent time meeting with voters in Gorham and Brunswick Tuesday. He is also running unopposed in his party. 

"We're small, we've never for anything before but now's definitely the time," Thelander said. "If you don't like what's going and if you want to change it, you've got to vote in a new change."

All candidates are expected to ramp up their campaigns with only five months remaining until election day in November. 

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows told NEWS CENTER Maine that voter turnout is expected to be low during the primary because many candidates are unopposed. She says this has been a good opportunity for poll workers to prepare for what will likely be a busier election day come November.

"It's getting everybody ready, it's testing some of our machines, which by the way are not connected to the Internet, that's important," Bellows said. "It's also testing the process for the secure delivery of ballots. Maine has paper ballots which are the gold standard of election security. So we're getting a trial run now in June to get ready for the big election which will be in November."

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