A Formal Request for Eliot Cutler to Withdraw from the Governor’s Race in Maine

Maine State FlagDear Mr. Cutler,

I am writing to you as someone who greatly respects your views, your career, and your love of the state of Maine.  In fact, our shared love for this great state is the impetus for this letter.

In the 2010 governor’s race in Maine, thinking you were the opponent who was going to surge past the laughable, and now current governor, Paul LePage, I cast my vote in your favor.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just cast this vote against the Tea Party rhetoric-slinging, bully-mouthed LePage, I cast my vote for you.  I was drawn to your independent nature.  Pulled in by your years of experience with politics.  Won by your broad-shouldered charisma.

But then the unthinkable happened: you and Libby Mitchell divided the center-left votes, and as a result we’ve had four years of a governor who has put Maine on the national media map for all the wrong reasons.  In my own household, and countless others, I, a male, voted for you, and my wife, a female (obviously), voted for Mitchell.  It was 2000 all over again when as a twenty-year-old idealist, my vote for Nader turned out to be a vote for Bush.

Our two-party political system is a mess.  No one doubts that.  It just doesn’t seem to be viable for a third party candidate to pull in the votes unless you have the celebrity gravitas of, say, an Angus King.  2010 opened a wound that was just beginning to heal for a lot of Mainers from the 2000 presidential election.  This state cannot afford four more years from Mr. LePage, both in terms of his uber-right-winged policies or his foot-in-mouth declarations that tarnish Maine in the national press.

Looking at the most recent polls, the people of Maine are starting to get that 2010 anxiety.  Mike Michaud (D) and Paul LePage (R) are close in the polls.  Your candidacy is tethering Michaud to the ground.  I’m asking that you withdraw from the race, cut the chord you’ve inadvertently tied to Michaud’s campaign, and let this great state rise out of the shackles our current governor has clasped around the wrists of progress.

Again, this letter comes from a place of respect for your career and your desire to make this state even greater.  It just seems to me and many others right now that the best way you can serve this state is to withdraw from the race and place all of your support behind Mike Michaud to right this ship.



David Patterson


Join the Conversation


  1. I too respect Mr. Cutler and would like to see him in the Blaine House. But I realistically must agree. I do not think Cutler can get the votes needed to win against 2 formidable opponents and we could likely end up with 4 more years of a crass, bully named Paul LePage.

      1. Michaud has a sizable base outside of Portland metro. He also has far more support than Cutler. To stay in, Cutler proves that he doesn’t truly have the best interests of the state in mind.

  2. It is my understanding that Cutler has stated that there is a strong “anybody but Michaud” contingent, and that when he says if he’s behind in the polls at election time for people to switch their vote from voting for him to voting for “…whomever they want…” (an approximate quote), he has clarified that he does NOT mean automatically to vote for the Democratic nominee, Mike Michaud. How is this to be interpreted other than that he would as soon see LePage re-elected as see Michaud elected? Which is horrifying. If I have this wrong, please correct me, but this was a newpaper story about Cutler calling in to a radio show to disavow the idea that he encourages voters to vote for Michaud if not for him.

  3. You should also be circulating a petition because maybe the numbers would speak for themselves. I too respect Cutler but the vote for him to step down I bet would be far higher than he is in the polls right now!

  4. Yes, please have the dignity to bow out. I, too, am interested in your ideas but cannot, cannot vote for you this time around, although I did vote for you last time. Surely you know the odds. You’re a distant third. This time the real point is to get LePage out, not you in– there’s just not enough support being registered for you. Come back in four years and I’d gladly reconsider. Just think of the popularity you would gain by bowing out. Isn’t it all about timing? If you stay in and LePage wins, your chances in the future would be nil.

  5. Well written, David. However, I suspect your view of Mr.Cutler is too generous. I believe that his huge fantasy driven ego propels him. And I also believe that he thinks that a LePage win isn’t so bad – if he can’t be gov, then LePage will be OK.
    If he doesn’t believe the above, why is he deliberately sabotaging Michaud? He is either a lot more wingnutty than he let’s on or he is a shill for LePage. There is no other logical explanation.

  6. Mr. Cutler, Please help us all and withdraw. You are going to help Paul Lepage and hurt us. If you care about the people of the state of Maine, please withdraw.

  7. Please Mr. Cutler drop out and throw your support behind Mike Michaud. Our state can not tolerate four more years of LePage. I supported you last time. I believe you could be an asset to Michaud’s campaign and possibly work with him. Please do what is best for our state.

  8. Are the comments being sent to Cutler? I too thought he was the best last time, but all my vote accomplished was to get LePage in by the slimmest margin. I don’t want to see that happen again.

    1. I agree that we share the same priorities, but waiting until election day morning isn’t something I’m going to risk. Though I do appreciate what this brings to the discourse.

  9. There’s no doubting the logic of Mr. Cutler being a spoiler in an election that will, once again, result in a LePage plurality. But isn’t it just as rational to ask Mr. Michaud to step down? To ask the Democrats not to field a candidate, in deference to the Independent candidate who can actually bring both sides together?

    I have three choices for governor, and I want Cutler. Why isn’t the Center majority trying to figure out how to make that happen? Why hand it to the Left any more than to the Right?

    1. The dialogue on this comment board is bringing so much to the discussion of this fall’s election. I agree with many of your points. I wouldn’t have written this letter if Maine instituted a run-off election if the winning candidate received less than 50% of the votes. In lieu of that law, Cutler’s campaign is detrimental to Maine since I don’t believe he will ever poll higher than Michaud. Why can’t Cutler just run as a Democrat? I’d vote for him even if some of his ideas were right of center. Right now, our Governor’s ideas are so right of center, they’re off the the right/left spectrum. Thanks for posting.

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