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Every weekday for more than three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. Irwin Gratz and the Maine Public Radio News team bring you regional updates throughout the morning.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

The Republican candidates in Maine's gubernatorial primary race are now hitting the airwaves with ads. Brenda Garrand and Sam Surprise have been watching them closely, and are back to comment on what they see and hear. 

Garrand is the owner of Garrand Mohlenkamp, Surprise runs Surprise Advertising. Garrand is also on Maine Public's board of trustees.  They gathered in our Portland studios earlier this week with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Editor's Note:  This interview was recorded late last month, and, since then, Mary Mayhew has released some campaign ads.

Mark Eves, a former Maine House speaker, is among seven Democrats running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Eves was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2008, where he served the maximum allowed four terms, the last two as House speaker, from 2012 to 2016.

Eves earned a bachelor’s from the University of Louisville and a master’s from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is a family therapist.

Maine Public’s Mal Leary asked Eves why Democrats should choose him over the field:

Janet Mills, Maine’s current attorney general, is among seven Democrats running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Mills was district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties from 1980 to 1992. She was then elected to the Maine House of Representatives, where she served from 2002 to 2008.

Betsy Sweet is one of seven Democrats trying to win her party’s gubernatorial nomination June 12.

Sweet is a longtime lobbyist who served as director of the Maine Women’s Lobby and the Maine Commission for Women. She currently heads Moose Ridge Associates, a lobbying firm in Augusta. She has not held elected office.

Sweet told Maine Public’s Fred Bever what she thinks makes her stand out from a large Democratic field:

Democratic state Rep. Jared Golden is one of three candidates vying to challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Golden is currently serving his second term in the Maine House of Representatives, where he is now the assistant majority leader. Golden is a military veteran who served for four years in the U.S. Marines, with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bates College.

Maine Public’s Mal Leary opened the interview by asking Golden what sets him apart from his two Democratic challengers:

Mark Dion, a state senator, is one of seven Democrats vying for a chance at the Blaine House this fall.

Dion was a Portland police officer who was first elected Cumberland County Sheriff in 1998 and served in that post until 2016. Dion earned a bachelor’s in criminology from what is now the University of Southern Maine, a master’s degree from Antioch College and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law.

Dion was elected to the Maine House in 2010, where he served three terms. In 2016, he was elected to the Maine Senate, where he continues to serve.

Shawn Moody, founder of Moody’s Collision Centers, a Maine chain of auto body repair shops, is among four Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

In 2010, Moody ran unsuccessfully for governor as an unenrolled candidate. He graduated from Gorham High School.

Maine Public’s Mal Leary asked Moody what sets him apart from the field:

Leary: There are three other candidates in this race, and many of them are promoting the same ideas. What specific proposal or proposals make you different from your primary opponents?

Donna Dion, who served as Biddeford’s mayor from 1997 to 2003 as well as chair of the School Committee, is among seven Democrats running for governor.

Dion also worked for 12 years at Time Warner and as the finance director of two nonprofits, Creative Work Systems and Port Resources. Dion earned a bachelor’s from the University of Maine at Machias.

As Dion told Maine Public’s Nora Flaherty, her first focus will be on making government work:

Republican Mary Mayhew, a former cabinet member under Gov. Paul LePage, is among four Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

Mayhew was a lobbyist for the Maine Hospital Association for about a decade before joining LePage’s administration as a senior health policy advisor. Shortly after that, Mayhew became the LePage administration’s commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. She remained in that post until May 2017, when she resigned to run for governor.

Ken Fredette, an attorney who was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2010, is among four Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

Fredette is currently serving his fourth term in the House and was elected as the House Republican leader. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Maine at Machias, a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law and a master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Fredette talked with Maine Public’s Steve Mistler about what makes him stand out from his primary opponents:

Adam Cote, an attorney with Drummond Woodsum and a member of the Maine Army National Guard for more than 20 years, is among seven Democrats running for governor.

Cote is a decorated combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who also served in Bosnia. He is co-founder and CEO of Thermal Energy Storage of Maine. He served on the Sanford School Committee and on the board of the Midcoast Regional Development Authority.

Peter Morrison / Associated Press

The central goal of any political campaign is to identify voters that are likely to support you, and motivate them. While campaign expenditures are still mostly dedicated toward broadcast media, print ads and mailings, the use of social media to target voters is starting to catch on in state campaigns.

Say you’re surfing the internet and land on a post about the race for governor — you read a few lines, then move on to funny cat videos. But then you notice the ad feed on your browser features a candidate for governor. Welcome to the world of data mining for campaigns.

Craig Olson is one of three Democrats vying to challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Olson runs an Islesboro bookstore and manages the Islesboro Transfer Station. He served for three years on the town Board of Selectmen, chairing the panel for a year. Prior to that he was the CEO of Kelmscott Rare Breeds Foundation in Lincolnville, a working farm and educational center.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Russell, a former Portland legislator, is one of seven Democrats hoping to secure her party’s nomination.

Russell served the maximum allowed four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, from 2008 to 2016. She then ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Maine Senate.

Russell works as a public relations consultant. She earned a bachelor’s at the University of Southern Maine.

Russell told Maine Public’s Patty Wight what sets her apart from the other candidates.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Campaign ads are finally filling the airwaves, especially in the top-of-the-ticket primaries for governor, Congress and Maine's 2nd District.  Brenda Garrand and Sam Surprise are back to comment on what they see and hear.  Garrand is the owner of Garrand Mohlenkamp, Surprise runs Surprise Advertising. Garrand is also on Maine Public's board of trustees.  They gathered in our Portland studios with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

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