Augusta, MAINE – Auto-body repair shop chain owner and former independent Shawn Moody appears to be settling nicely into his new skin as a Republican. Last week, Moody took to friendly WLOB radio to praise President Donald Trump for being a businessman who, as Moody says, is “starting to get down to the real core issues facing this country and tackling them.”

It was enough for Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, who called into the show later on, to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind: “Hey Shawn – what happened to you, by the way? You used to be this nice, reasonable, moderate guy. You turned to the dark side. What happened?”

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement:

“It’s bad enough that Moody is shape-shifting his political identity at the whim of a D.C. consultant to run right, but it’s worse that he’s doing it by adopting extreme Republican positions that will only hurt Maine people. Praising the failed leadership of Donald Trump and Paul LePage, and opposing good public policy like Medicaid expansion, may help him win far-right voters but it’s not going to move Maine forward.

“The sad truth is that Moody is just another good politician – someone who will pay a lot of money to have a political consultant tell him how to think, what to say, and how to act. Maine deserves better.

“Maine deserves bold, new leadership that will grow our economy and make Augusta work again for Maine people. Businessman Paul LePage has failed in both – and the last thing we need is four more years of him.”

In 2010, Shawn Moody ran for governor of Maine as an independent, touting himself as “not a Republican” and “not a Democrat”; “not a liberal” and “not a conservative”.

But now, Moody says he is a lifelong conservative – and he is running hard to the right to prove it by coming out in opposition to Medicaid expansion; by hiring Paul LePage’s campaign staff; by praising Paul LePage and Donald Trump; and by promising to be four more years of LePage’s Administration.