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Dems highlight Mills' small business support while GOP point to fuel costs, inflation

Mainers will head to the polls on Nov. 8 to vote for the next governor.

MAINE, USA — In less than 50 days, Mainers will head to the polls to vote for the next governor.

On Thursday, Maine Democrats gathered at Orono Brewing Company to highlight what Gov. Janet Mills has done to support small businesses. Meanwhile, some Republicans said she hasn't done enough.

Multiple business owners discussed Mills' impact on their business, including Democratic Maine state Rep. Joe Perry.

Perry said sales at his small market in Bangor are better than they've been in the last 30 years.

"I fear if we go back to what we had before Gov. Mills what it would mean to myself and a lot of small businesses," Perry said.

Republican state Sen. Stacey Guerin is a small business owner herself. She questions the positive picture Democrats are painting of the economy.

"We have spiraling inflation. Interest rates are soaring. I have constituents contacting me every day about how they are going to pay [for] their oil because of the increasing fuel costs. That is not a thriving economy," Guerin said.

One wedding venue owner credited her vibrant property on Penobscot Bay to Mills' environmental policies.

Emerald Forcier, the owner of Penobscot Bay Wedding in Winterport, said there are a number of reasons — like environmental policy and stance on marriage equality — it's critical for her business that Mills is re-elected.

"She has been an amazing steward of our beautiful state, and I remember a time when our property would not have been a beautiful wedding venue because of yellow foam, [and] the lack of birds. Now we have beautiful water on Penobscot Bay," Forcier said.

Forcier added that Mills is the only option to ensure marriage equality in Maine is safe for years to come.

"LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. They're critical beyond just your wedding weekend," Forcier said. "It's something that's really important to our industry that everyone has their right to marriage sacredly supported."

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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