LePage, Hunkler appear at gubernatorial forum in Waterville

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Educational, not confrontational. That was the stated goal of a gubernatorial forum in Waterville Tuesday morning featuring two of Maine’s three candidates for governor.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce put on the event at Thomas College as part of its business breakfast series.

Former governor and current Republican nominee Paul LePage and Independent candidate Sam Hunkler were both present.

They were each given the same question on a number of topics and allowed a set time to respond.

The issues included affordable housing, energy costs, and workforce concerns, among others.

As many communities in Central Maine struggle with the effects of PFAS, the candidates spoke about how they’d handle the problem. LePage presented a contrast with current governor Janet Mills in his answer.

“We got $14.7 billion from the federal government. Instead of giving $850 checks, she should have taken $1 billion, $1.5 billion and fixed it now. We need our farmland. We need to clean it up,” LePage said.

“We need our own testing labs because we’re going to have to go through thousands and thousands and thousands of soil and water samples to figure out how big of a problem we have. From there, we have to figure out how to get rid of it and we don’t know how to do that yet,” said Hunkler.

The moderator said Governor Mills was also invited to attend, but declined because of a prior commitment. Mills was meeting with the US Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday.