AUGUSTA – Alan Caron of Freeport announced Monday that he is running for governor as a independent.

An entrepreneur best known for his work on researching ways to improve Maine’s economy, Caron said his campaign will focus on the need for “big change in Maine, from the bottom up.” Caron is the second independent running in a field that now includes 18 people.

“The people of Maine deserve a governor who believes in them,” Caron said in a statement formally announcing his candidacy, which had been rumored since September. “A governor who understands our problems but also sees our great potential. Someone who respects our past but is focused on building a stronger, more sustainable future,” Caron said.”They deserve a governor who cares less about political parties and more about getting things done, and who can bring people together, across all of our partisan and regional divides. I will be that kind of governor.”

A Waterville native, Caron, 66, dropped out of high school in ninth grade but would go on to start his own printing and design business in Portland. He would eventually earn a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and would become a consultant to businesses, nonprofits and government leaders.

In 2003, he founded the nonprofit GrowSmart Maine that worked with the Brookings Institution to produce a report, “Charting Maine’s Future,” that identified Maine’s strengths and weaknesses as officials sought to revitalize the state’s economy. The report, which was widely cited at the time, recommended preserving Maine’s “quality of place” while streamlining government, cutting taxes, investing in the state’s areas of economic strength and following “smart growth” principles.

More recently, Caron formed Envision Maine to work with businesses, government and nonprofits on ways to improve the state’s economy. He was also a freelance columnist for the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald.

Caron joins Maine state Treasurer Terry Hayes as the only other independent so far in the increasingly crowded gubernatorial field.

 

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