AUGUSTA – With the Maine governor’s election two weeks past and Democrat John Baldacci set for another four years in the Blaine House, the losing candidates are setting their sights on what’s next on their personal agendas.
Republican Chandler Woodcock, who came in second, said he plans to spend a lot of time in the Maine outdoors. He shot a 239-pound deer on the first day of hunting season. Fishing for striped bass, brook trout and salmon will also be high on the agenda for the retired teacher.
“I’m just going to relax,” said Woodcock, who finished with 30 percent of the vote Nov. 7, eight points behind Baldacci.
Independent Barbara Merrill, who placed third with 22 percent, hasn’t decided what’s next, but the former lobbyist and one-term state representative said she’s looking for a way to stay involved in public policy.
Merrill, a lawyer, said she supports tightening up the state Clean Election Act’s rules regulating ads from outside the campaigns. Merrill said she has no regrets about the campaign and credits her staff for working hard on her behalf.
“The odds were tremendous,” Merrill said.
Green Independent candidate Pat LaMarche, who finished with 10 percent of the vote, said she is promoting her new book, “Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” LaMarche gathered material for the book while spending 14 nights in different homeless shelters during her 2004 campaign as the national Green Party’s candidate for vice president.
LaMarche said she would like to teach college classes, but is not sure whether she will return to her previous career as a radio personality. But politics appears to be out.
“I don’t intend to ever run for office again, but I’d like to invigorate the next generation of go-getters,” LaMarche said.