Adam Cote
Age: 45
Hometown: Sanford
Occupation: Attorney, CEO of Thermal Energy Storage and Maine Army National Guard veteran
Political/public offices: Sanford School Committee, Midcoast Regional Development Authority board
Family: Married, with five young children

Adam Cote was the first Democrat to declare his candidacy for governor. Since then, he’s held or attended over 500 events around the state. In his campaign, Cote has emphasized his experience in business (co-founding a company focused on off-peak heating and cooling), in policy work as an attorney and as a leader. A major in the Maine Army National Guard, Cote deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia during his 20-year career with the Guard. Frequent talking points include economic development, renewable energy, infrastructure investment and improving the civility of politics in Maine.
He has touted himself as an independent outsider able to work with all parties in Augusta and someone who will promote Maine as “the best place in the world” as a way to build the economy, retain young families and attract new workers. Cote is running as a privately financed candidate and had raised just over $804,000 for his campaign as of April 24.

Donna Dion
Age: 66
Hometown: Biddeford
Occupation: Retired after finance career in nonprofit and public sector.
Political/public offices: Biddeford mayor, Biddeford School Board, Biddeford/Saco Economic Development Council, Biddeford Comprehensive Planning Committee, Coastal Counties Workforce board member
Family: Married, with one adult son

Donna Dion touts her experience as mayor of Biddeford – Maine’s sixth-largest city – from 1998 to 2003 as well as more than 30 years working in finance for two nonprofit organizations and for Time Warner. Dion retired at the beginning of the year just as she was launching her second bid for governor.
In her campaign, she has pledged to bring more financial insights to the governor’s office and believes her professional experience will help her identify areas for cost-savings, efficiencies and investment. She also says her time as mayor of Biddeford and serving on multiple city boards will help her navigate complex issues. Dion had hoped to run as a Clean Election Act candidate but was unable to collect enough qualifying donations to participate in the public campaign financing system. She reported raising slightly more than $1,000 for her campaign as of April 24.

Mark Dion
Age: 63
Hometown: Portland
Occupation: Attorney, former Cumberland County sheriff, former Portland police officer and deputy chief
Political/public offices: Senate District 28 (current), House District 43 (six years), Cumberland County sheriff
Family: Married, with two adult children

Mark Dion (no relation to Donna Dion) is campaigning on a pledge to be a bridge-builder in Augusta thanks to his record of working with diverse groups. Dion says his 40 years in public service – 21 with the Portland Police Department, 12 years as sheriff and eight years in the Legislature – have given him the ability to tackle complex issues while at the same time understanding that “listening is sometimes more important than speaking.”
In his campaign, Dion has emphasized the need for increased education funding, renewable energy, addressing the opioid crisis and for political candidates not to make campaign promises they cannot afford to keep.
Dion is running a privately financed campaign and had raised just over $31,400 as of April 24.

Mark Eves
Age: 41
Hometown: North Berwick
Occupation: Counselor/family therapist, administrator for community health organization
Political/public offices: Speaker of the Maine House (four years), House District 146
Family: Married, with three young children

Mark Eves emerged onto Maine’s political scene in 2012 when he was elected speaker of the House. Eves presided over the House during four years when Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s push to cut taxes and trim welfare programs created deep divisions in Augusta. Eves and LePage clashed repeatedly and tensions culminated in a high-profile lawsuit and legislative investigation into LePage’s role blocking Eves from landing a job with an educational nonprofit.
On the campaign trail, Eves has highlighted his willingness to stand up to LePage as he urges Democrats to nominate a progressive candidate who will clearly stand out from the Republican nominee and any independents on the ballot in November. He has called for increased spending on education, health care and other initiatives, paid for by eliminating tax “loopholes” for corporations and increasing taxes on the wealthy.
Eves is running a privately financed campaign and had raised more than $305,000 as of April 24.

Janet Mills
Age: 70
Hometown: Farmington
Occupation: Attorney general, assistant attorney general, district attorney for Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties, attorney
Political/public office: Attorney general (2013-present, 2009-11), assistant attorney general, district attorney, Maine House District 89 (eight years), former vice chair of the Maine Democratic Party
Family: Widowed, with five stepchildren

Janet Mills has been elected twice by the Legislature to serve as attorney general, all of that time during Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure in the Blaine House. A former district attorney, Mills often points to her track record of standing up to LePage (she has declined to represent his administration on numerous occasions) and her participation in lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, car manufacturers and other corporations. On the campaign trail, Mills often talks about the opioid crisis, her plan to tap $35 million in legal settlement fees to expand Medicaid, her willingness to stand up to “bullies” and the need for more civility in politics. She frequently points out that she is the only Democratic candidate to win elections in the 2nd Congressional District and that she comes from a family with deep political roots in the state. Mills is running a privately financed campaign and had raised just over $571,500 as of April 24.

Diane Russell
Age: 41
Hometown: Portland
Occupation: Grass-roots organizer, consultant and public relations
Political/public office: House District 39 (eight years), Democratic National Committee delegate (2016), organizer for multiple campaigns
Family: Single

Diane Russell has been an outspoken progressive voice in Maine politics dating back to her early years in the Legislature. She was an early advocate for legalizing marijuana in Maine (introducing numerous bills) and helped to lead the ballot initiative campaigns for legalization as well as ranked-choice voting. She also helped lead the fight within the Democratic National Committee to change the superdelegate system for presidential nominations and had a speaking spot during the 2016 convention.
On the campaign trail, Russell has called for “Medicare for all” as a universal health care plan, restoring the 3 percent tax surcharge on wealthy Mainers to fund education, addressing student debt as well as paid sick leave and other changes to help women in the workforce. She has also been heavily involved in pushing for a more robust response to the opioid crisis.
Russell is running a privately financed campaign and had raised just shy of $67,500 as of April 24.

Betsy Sweet
Age: 61
Hometown: Hallowell
Occupation: Founder of Moose Ridge Associates advocacy and lobbying firm
Political/public office: Former director of Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Commission for Women, co-managed U.S. Rep. Tom Andrews’ 1990 campaign
Family: Three children

Betsy Sweet has been an advocate/lobbyist at the State House for 35 years, focusing primarily on issues affecting women, the elderly, the disabled, low-income Mainers, the LGBTQ community and the nonprofit sector. She helped craft the Maine Clean Election Act. Sweet claims her decades of building bipartisan relationships, navigating State House politics and involvement in the budget process will help her as governor. On the campaign trail, Sweet has called for universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, two years of free college tuition in return for a year of community service after high school, regional economic development centers, paid family medical and sick leave, and making Maine a more welcoming environment for immigrants. As the only Democrat running as a Clean Election candidate, Sweet said she is not beholden to big-money special interests.
Sweet has received roughly $400,000 in public campaign financing and raised $99,000 in seed money contributions as of April 24.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.