State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) “announced Thursday he will be the third Republican to enter the 2018 race. … Mason will make the announcement official during an event in Lewiston Thursday night but told Portland-based WGAN talk radio hosts Matt Gagnon and Ken Altshuler his campaign was underway.”
“Mason said his campaign would focus on a ‘Maine first’ agenda, echoing President Donald Trump’s inaugural address that focused on an ‘America first’ theme.”
“Mason, 32, is the youngest candidate to join the race so far and would by the youngest governor in state history by five months were he selected by voters in November of 2018.” (Portland Press Herald)
“Mason will run using a public campaign funding system he has opposed. The fourth-term senator is a darling of Maine’s evangelical right: His key legislative achievement came in 2011, when his bill allowing charter schools here passed and he also co-chaired Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s winning effort in Maine’s 2016 presidential caucuses.
“Yet he has shown a penchant for collaboration at key times, notably when Senate Republicans allied with legislative Democrats against LePage in this year’s budget battle that forced Maine’s first government shutdown since 1991.”
Mason delayed his announcement after his mother, former state Rep. Gina Mason (R), “fell into his arms” and “died there at age 57” earlier this month. Garrett Mason “delayed his announcement. He considered not running. But the family threw themselves back into politics. His father, Rick, is running to replace Gina.”
Mason: “My mother would want nothing more than for me to continue this campaign and win and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“He said he’d stay in the race if” Sen. Susan Collins (R) runs. (Bangor Daily News)