This story was originally published at 3:22 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2017.
A longtime champion for the modernization of Maine’s economy is running for governor. Alan Caron says he will run as an independent, becoming the 18th candidate in the crowded field.
Although he has never run for office, Caron has been a fixture in Maine’s policy debates for decades. The Waterville native founded GrowSmart Maine and, more recently, Envision Maine, both aimed at convening politicians, businesses and nonprofits to find consensus on moving the economy forward.
Now he wants to do that from the Blaine house.
“Building a new economy in Maine, recognizing that we can’t go backwards, that the mills aren’t going to return, and that we must now pivot to the future. An economy driven by small businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs, a smarter and more efficient government, more attuned to what the needs of the 21st century are,” Caron says.
He says his first priority would be to rein in tax credits for businesses and to make sure new jobs are created before a company receives a break. He would move toward free tuition for the first two years of higher education. And he says the state should respond more forcefully to climate change and energy independence by becoming what he calls “a solar state.”
Now a Freeport resident, Caron is 66.