When I first started talking with people about my potential interest in running for Governor, the question that I received more than any other was, “Why are you interested in doing that?” After I made the decision that I would be entering the race, the most common question became, “Do you think that you can win?” Now that I am a registered candidate, a top question (among many) I encounter is “How are people going to find out more about you with so many other candidates?” This was the least anticipated of the three. So after pondering the matter further and discussing it with others I am sharing my thoughts on that question here.
Currently there are nine continuing registered candidates for Governor of Maine for 2006 (two Democrats including the incumbent, three Republicans and, including my candidacy, four Independents including Green Independent Patricia LaMarche). Believe me, I’ve had the white-out ready to keep up with the into December still rapidly changing totals. Although we are still close to a full year away from the election – an incredible amount of time in political terms when one considers what issues, events or other factors may become more or less prominent over time – significant press attention in regard to the race’s entrants and projected major state issues has already begun.
While some will no doubt stick with a candidate they may already prefer, others will switch from their current favorite (support numbers change over time) one or possibly more times at some point and time. Some are currently undecided and others may later become so.
I believe that a crowded field in an important race leads overall to a greater examination of the candidates and their qualifications and ideas. Most of the people that I have spoken with, regardless of their political preference, feel that the 2006 Governor’s race is critical for Maine. With two or three candidates it would be easier I believe to find a few (or more) significant differences upon which to make a choice. With a larger number of candidates greater study is required to determine what each candidate stands for and has to offer. Thankfully, I have spent years researching, studying, talking, listening and preparing for this specific race, and have a collection of solution and progress based proposals that I feel confident stack up extremely well (and I’ve refined these ideas through the greatest minds in the state with great access). Of course, we’re electing a person and not a set of positions, which is why I’ll be touring the state including town meetings in which voters will be able to determine for themselves in greater depth what is being offered. (Note: I still plan to do this but my most immediate travel etc. plans are dependent also upon my continuing physical health recovery as I recently completed a 29 day hospital stay following being hit by a pick-up truck while a pedestrian). Our website, www.Hammer2006.com, still in progress, will provide highly detailed information so that voters will be able to make an extremely informed decision in regard to what we offer and the merits of the campaign. Those that immediately want campaign materials detailing Maine solutions may request them from: Hammer For Governor, P.O. Box 202, Bangor, ME 04402. This is also the mailing address where if you decide to support this campaign you may make a donation (up to $100 per individual), submit your resume or match your interests in a personally meaningful way for you as a volunteer.
A crowded field for Governor in these crucial times is a good thing. May the very best candidate for Maine win.
Alex Hammer is an Independent candidate for Governor residing in Bangor.