Bangor, MAINE – In case you missed it, Republican gubernatorial candidate Shawn Moody refused to say whether or not as governor he would reopen Downeast Correctional Facility in Washington County. The facility, which Governor LePage unilaterally closed earlier this year, supported fifty jobs and was an economic anchor for the community.
Moody ducked a question from NewsCenterMAINE about his position on the closure, having a spokesperson issue a generic statement instead. Janet Mills, however, was unequivocal in her support with her campaign saying that she is opposed to the closure and believes LePage’s actions were “illegal and unnecessary.”
A retired employee of the facility who has become a spokesman for keeping it open said that former employees have been “forced to move out of town, out of state, and are going on unemployment, lose their health insurance.”
“This facility was an economic anchor and the governor’s illegal and unilateral closure of it is hurting folks throughout Washington County,” said Phil Bartlett, Chairman of the Maine Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, when given the opportunity to stand up and speak out, Shawn Moody chose to put his allegiance to the governor ahead of the interests of the hardworking people of Washington County. His refusal to speak out on this issue says a lot about what he would do as governor, and it doesn’t look good for folks Downeast.”
Moody’s refusal to speak out against the closure and the governor’s actions stand in sharp contrast to other Republicans, particularly former gubernatorial candidates Mike Thibodeau and Garrett Mason who both said, “the people of Washington County deserve better.” Even former gubernatorial candidate Ken Fredette visited the facility, while former Senate President Kevin Raye and Republican State Senator Joyce Maker both spoke out against the governor.
Despite fashioning himself as plainspoken, Moody has refused to directly answer several questions throughout his campaign, often not responding to comment or ducking them altogether.
Keeping Up With Silent Shawn Moody
05/09/18: “During a discussion around how candidates would fund Medicaid expansion, which is something they all oppose, Moody didn’t say how he would fund it […] ‘We’re just asking you, ‘How do you fund it?’’ House Minority Leader Ken Fredette chimed in. Moody then returned to a Republican talking point on the end of the session […].”
04/07/18: “Gorham businessman Shawn Moody, who ran as an independent for governor in 2010 and got 5 percent of the vote, issued a statement through his campaign spokeswoman that didn’t address his position on the issue.”
02/25/18: “Only one of the 14 candidates, Republican Shawn Moody of Gorham, declined to answer any of the questions despite repeated requests and, instead, released a generic statement asserting his support for the Second Amendment while calling for a community resource officer in every school.”
02/11/18: “All the candidates but Moody said they would support whoever the Republican nominee for governor in the fall is. Moody meanwhile didn’t answer the question specifically, but said the goal is to sweep the House, Senate and Blaine House for Republicans.”
01/26/18: “With the exception of Shawn Moody, the candidates said they didn’t understand the delay, and several said they would release the rules.”
01/19/18: “Another Republican candidate for governor, businessman Shawn Moody of Gorham, finally issued a statement Thursday but still failed to answer the question of whether he would approve the rules.”
01/10/18: “Two other Republican candidates for governor, Mary Mayhew, LePage’s former commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Gorham businessman Shawn Moody, did not respond to requests for comment.”
11/21/17: “His campaign, however, is being run by insiders close to LePage, including Brent Littlefield, a strategist who ran LePage’s 2010 and 2014 bids, and Lauren LePage, the governor’s daughter. Moody didn’t take questions from the assembled media after his speech.”