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Mills, LePage campaign with less than one week until Election Day

The candidates exchanged long-distance barbs as Mills rallied volunteers in York County, while LePage spoke in front of an oil delivery truck in Penobscot County.

MAINE, USA — Both major party candidates for Maine governor hit the campaign trail Wednesday, each in friendly party strongholds.

Former Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, hosted a press conference at Dysarts Truck Stop in Hermon, standing in front of a parked heating oil delivery truck while discussing high heating energy costs Mainers are currently facing. 

LePage said incumbent Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, needs to waive current sulfur emissions standards to bring more oil into the state this winter, and said Maine's low-income heating assistance program (LIHEAP) won't help the majority of Mainers.

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"Go to the governor and say, 'Pull out all the stops; get to the president,'" the former two-term Maine governor implored reporters. "Look, we need- it's not LIHEAP we need, it's reserves. [President Biden] needs to unload, maybe, 20-million gallons of heating oil reserves out of the northeast. That is what we really need."

While LePage was speaking in Hermon, Mills was in York, visiting local businesses and rallying local campaign volunteers, who planned a long day of canvassing for Thursday.

"We protected the lives and livelihoods of Maine people through a once-in-a-generation pandemic," she proclaimed. "We delivered $850 checks in inflation relief and rebuilt our economy."

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The Maine GOP took aim at Mills earlier in the week, releasing edited audio, recorded while Mills met with Bates College students over the previous weekend.

"I watched 'Meet The Press' this morning and more talk about, 'Well, now Republicans have this inflation issue and people aren't thinking so much about abortion and things like that... No, it's a distraction," Mills said. "It's something we gotta deal with; it's a major problem; but they're distracting people from the issues they really want to vote on when they get into office."

Republicans, including LePage, believed it showed Mills isn't taking inflation seriously.

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"Inflation is extremely important," Mills responded on Wednesday when we asked her about the clip. "It's a high priority; and we have not only talked about it and stressed that it is a priority, but we've taken action; we continue to take action."

The actions to which Mills is referring include the $850 relief checks and heating assistance for businesses and homes, which she argues has been highly effective. While LePage believes he can do more to keep Maine homes warm in the winter.

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