Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Barbara Merrill Still Third, But Gaining

Some interesting quotes in today's Press Herald about Maine independent gubernatorial candidate Barbara Merrill:

Michelle Thomas of Turner listened to Merrill's presentation and said she was impressed with what she heard.

"I think she has done her homework," Thomas said. "She understands what the issues are. She is not going to be partisan. I was leaning toward Woodcock, but now I'm not so sure."

William Jefferson Lewis, a Republican, also listened to Merrill's presentation. He found it impressive that she has a business plan, but says he will withhold judgment on whom to vote for until he has heard from Woodcock.


Richard Crabtree counts himself as a member of Merrill's Marauders, a newly formed group of Republicans and Democrats who support Merrill's gubernatorial bid.

Crabtree, a former executive for Central Maine Power Co., has been a Republican for more than 40 years, but became a Merrill supporter after reading her book.

"It (the book) contains a vision that is realizable. You have to have a plan in order to lead. You need to have an idea of where you are going, and Barbara has that," Crabtree said.

The consensus on Merrill's candidacy has generally been that she might be a spoiler for Democratic Governor John Baldacci, and enable Republican candidate Chandler Woodcock to gain a slim plurality of the vote next month. Ever since I read her book, I've been inclined to believe that she might take a good number of votes from the libertarians among registered Republicans (and I include myself among that number). Woodcock's strong suit with Republicans right now is that he is the only candidate who unreservedly supports TABOR, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Merrill's nuanced approach to TABOR, while landing in the anti-TABOR camp, sends plenty of signals to folks like me that she intends to accomplish more budget reduction (or at least restraint) at the state level than TABORistas ever dreamt of.

As of right now, Merrill still has my vote, despite her quixotic attack on campaign signs. Sorry, Chandler.



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