(NEWS CENTER) -- A busy day in Maine's campaign for Governor. Republican incumbent Paul LePage held his first campaign press conference of the year in a gravel pit in Gray, to receive the endorsement of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). That group's leader says they support LePage because he believes in the free enterprise system and that government "needs to get out of the way of business". LePage told the ABC members he wants to help create prosperity for Maine. At one point he took a shot at Democrats on the topic of prosperity, saying "We define it completely different. I define prosperity with a good paying paycheck. Some of my opponents define prosperity by an entitlement check.."
Democratic candidate Rep. Mike Michaud issued a statement from his campaign, criticizing LePage for "failed policies" that have led to an increase in homelessness, and that Maine is "lagging behind the country in job growth"
Independent Eliot Cutler held his own press conference to roll out his plan for education. Cutler said he will be "the education Governor", and that his plan will expand early childhood education, improve funding for K-12 schools and provide a new system to help more Mainers afford to attend college.
LePage told reporters that he thinks Cutler "is the guy to beat" in the race for Governor – presumably an effort to boost Cutler and bring down Michaud, as a way to improve his own chances in the race. Cutler responded that LePage's statement was "probably the most perceptive thing he's said in three years."