December 2, 2023

No Endorsements From SAM For Maine's Governor

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The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has decided not to endorse any candidate for Maine’s governor. It is unclear at this time exactly why but it appears that no one candidate stands out from another either good or bad in the eyes of SAM.

Although SAM has opted out of picking a candidate, they didn’t fall short of issuing grades. Executive director for SAM, George Smith, in an article in the Sun Journal, said his organization gives both incumbent Baldacci and republican candidate Woodcock, an A while issuing a B to independent hopefull Barbara Merrill. Green party candidate Pat LaMarche got an F.

Political posturing on the announcement has the Baldacci campaign claiming a victory because SAM gave them an A. A Woodcock spokesman says that because SAM wouldn’t endorse an incumbent it is a victory for them.

Smith cited two big pluses for Governor Balcacci. One was his support in protecting the bear hunters in the referendum that was hotly contested during his watch and the other was Baldacci’s willingness to better fund the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. On the downside, SAM says Baldacci’s position on access involving the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and Katahdin Lake created “some pretty big negatives”.

While the focus seems to be on Baldacci and Woodcock, independent hopeful Barbara Merrill gets a B simply because she doesn’t have much of a past record to go on. Smith said if she was running for reelection to the House, she could have gotten an A but because she was a candidate for governor, she only merited a B.

Maine Hunting Today and the Black Bear Blog have chosen at this time not to participate in endorsing candidates at any level. As most of you know, recently I conducted online interviews with Baldacci, Woodcock and Merrill and spent extensive time and energy analyzing each candidates responses. For those interested in reading what each one had to say about issues directly affecting hunters, fishermen and outdoors people, you can find the interviews and analysis at Maine Hunting Today.

Tom Remington