By CHRISTIAN WADE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — A nearly month-long early voting period is under way in Maine, allowing voters to cast ballots for governor, the U.S. House and other contested races ahead of the midterm elections.
From Tuesday until Nov. 8, cities and towns will allow registered voters to cast early ballots ahead of the election.
Topping the statewide ballot is a race between incumbent Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who is running for his old job as governor.
Gov. Mills edged out six opponents in a 2018 Democratic primary race, then won a three-way general election with 51% to become the first woman elected as Maine’s governor. She is seeking another four-year term as the state’s chief executive. Mr. LePage, who served two terms as Maine’s governor from 2011 to 2019, is seeking a third, non-consecutive term.
Sam Hunkler, a Beals physician, is running for governor as an independent.
Another major race pits former Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin against incumbent Democratic U.S. House Rep. Jared Golden in the 2nd Congressional District, which has also drawn national attention with control of Congress in the balance.
Meanwhile, incumbent U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, faces a challenge from Ed Thelander, a Republican and former Navy SEAL, in the 1st Congressional District race.
More than 1.1 million people are eligible to vote in Maine, elections officials report. There were 396,893 registered Democrats compared to 313,866 Republicans as of the latest tally on June 10, while another 358,909 are not affiliated with either major political party, according to the office of Maine Secretary of State Sheena Bellows.