Eliot Cutler, the candidate who twice ran for governor, says he is “taking a vow of abstinence” from running for governor.

When asked why he wanted the job of creating a new professional graduate center for the University of Maine System, Cutler quipped: “I spent five years trying to be a state employee.”

Will he run again?

“No, I’ve taken a vow of abstinence,” he said. “And I mean that, I really do.”

Cutler, 68, met Wednesday with Portland Press Herald reporters and editors to talk about his appointment. He said running for office immersed him in thinking about Maine’s challenges and opportunities, and how he could best serve the state.

“Look, I spent five years running for governor, obviously. But I also spent five years or more – six probably – thinking about the state of Maine and what we need to do to reach the extraordinary potential I think we have. I thought I could contribute to that if I were governor – not enough people agreed with me. This endeavor, to me, has extraordinary potential and I think that if we succeed – and I intend to succeed; I don’t think we’ll fail – I think we can make an enormous contribution to the future of the state, and that’s why I want to do it.”

Cutler ran as an independent in 2010 and 2014, capturing 35.9 percent of the vote in 2010 when Gov. Paul LePage bested him by fewer than two percentage points. He captured only 8.4 percent of the vote in 2014.


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