(NEWS CENTER Maine) — Terry Hayes says she’s running for Maine governor as an independent because "we can do this better."

Hayes, who is the current state treasurer, says the battles between the current governor and state legislature have blocked progress for Maine, and she wants to help bring that change to state government.

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Hayes was raised in South Portland and Portland, and faced family challenges at a young age. Her mother was hospitalized with mental illness, and then her father passed away. Hayes says she and her brother and sisters were helped by relatives, friends and the Catholic church, which enabled her to graduate high school and then Bowdoin College.

Hayes became a teacher, then created a business teaching real estate licensing courses. After moving to Buckfield with her husband and children, she served on the local school board and other volunteer positions. That led to six years in the Maine Legislature as a Democratic state representative.

Hayes says growing partisanship in the House and Senate led to her becoming dissatisfied with the parties. She became an independent and, with primarily Republican support, was elected by the Legislature to be state treasurer in 2014. She was elected to a second term in 2016.

Hayes says her primary goal is to restore civility to the Statehouse, and believes that will allow the parties and the governor to work more closely together. She admits that as an independent, the job of getting elected is more difficult.

"I have to win Mainers over one at a time," Hayes told NEWS CENTER Maine. "I guess I would say if this was easy everyone would do it, but it’s well worth doing because it's Maine’s future, it's all of our future. I don’t want to go to Augusta with the governor’s hat on and keep the fights. There’s been enough fighting."