Augusta, MAINE – In case you missed it, Republican gubernatorial candidates Shawn Moody and Mary Mayhew continue to remain silent on Governor Paul LePage’s failure to advance rules that would ease access to the life-saving anti-overdose drug naloxone.

According to a report in the Press Herald today, three of the five Republican gubernatorial candidates heeded a call by Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett urging them to speak out against LePage’s slow-rolling of the rules. However, both Moody and Mayhew refused to break with the Governor and stand up for people struggling with addiction and, instead, did not respond to requests for comment.

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement in response:

“It says a lot about Shawn Moody and Mary Mayhew that they think it’s more important to remain cozy with the Governor than it is to speak out against him in the effort to help Mainers struggling with addiction gain access to lifesaving resources. In short: they are putting politics ahead of Maine people to advance their own political careers, and not only is it shameful but it’s just plain wrong, and Maine people deserve better.”

Drug overdoses in Maine killed an average of more than one person a day during the first half of last year. However, under Governor LePage and Mayhew during her tenure as Commissioner of DHHS, access to addiction treatment was made more difficult by tightening eligibility and cutting options. Meanwhile, Moody has stated that “we can’t turn a blind eye to this and hope it goes away.” He’s not off to a great start.