GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — One more high profile candidate has joined the race for Maine governor.
Shawn Moody, who owns a chain of auto body shops in southern and central Maine, and who ran as an independent for governor in 2010, officially entered the race Tuesday.
"[Mainers] are tired of getting by, its time for Maine to get ahead," Moody told a crowd of more than 100 supporters at his business headquarters in Gorham.
Moody said months ago he was considering running again but indicated that if he did run it would likely be as an independent. However, Moody announced in October he had decided to join the GOP, explaining that he needed the support of a party to have the best chance of winning the race.
His announcement Tuesday showed Moody has support from key members of Gov. Paul LePage's team, including LePage's daughter, his political strategist and several staff members. There is no word if Gov. LePage himself intends to endorse any candidate in the primary.
Two of the four other GOP candidates in the race have already been positioning themselves as carrying on the policies of LePage. Both Mary Mayhew, who worked as a member of LePage's cabinet, and House GOP leader Ken Fredette, who was a key backer of LePage in the legislature, have been trying to win over LePage voters.
Moody, who has a reputation as a leader who works to bring people with different views together to find solutions, told supporters he also supports some of the policies of LePage, though he also talked about the needs of people.
"I have a dimple message," Moody said. "Take care of people — but that doesn't mean just giving them things."
Moody started his business as a teenager, and it has grown over time to have 11 locations. He said that experience and his habit of looking for the positive aspects of most challenges can help Maine to "finally get ahead."
The Maine Democratic Party quickly criticized Moody, saying he is no different from the other GOP candidates because he supports LePage's policies.