Former state senator becomes sixth candidate in 2018 Democratic primary for governor

Photo provided by the Boyle campaign.

Former state Sen. James Boyle entered the Democratic primary election for governor on Tuesday, bringing the tally of candidates in that contest to six.

Boyle, 58, who owns an environmental consulting company, served in the Senate representing Gorham, Scarborough and Westbrook from 2012 to 2014. He was ousted from his seat by then-Rep. Amy Volk of Scarborough, who beat him by about 900 votes. Volk was re-elected in 2016.

Boyle said his focus as governor would be creating jobs and protecting the environment.

“We need to build a future that focuses on those values and we need to have an honest conversation with Maine people about how to make our political and economic system work for everyone, not just the rich,” said Boyle in a news release.

Boyle,  called state government “as messed up as you think it is.”

“The shutdown made that very clear,” he said. “The system is so stacked against positive change that nothing gets done and nothing gets better.”

Boyle has filed his candidacy with the Maine Ethics Commission as a traditionally financed candidate. Among those working on his campaign is former Assistant Senate Majority Leader Anne Haskell, D-Portland, and David Farmer, who was a spokesman for Democratic Gov. John Baldacci and a campaign strategist for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud in 2014.

Boyle is owner of Boyle Associates, a Westbrook-based environmental consulting firm he launched in 1996. Before that he was a forester for Great Northern Paper in Millinocket and St. Regis Paper in Lincoln, as well has a Central Maine Power employee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in forest management from the University of Maine.

Boyle joins and increasingly crowded Democratic field in the 2018 primary. The other declared candidates are Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, Sanford attorney and veteran Adam Cote, lobbyist Betsy Sweet of Hallowell, former House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick and Patrick Eisenhart of Augusta.

Mary Mayhew, who is Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s former health and human services chief, is the most prominent Republican to file for the race, although others have been rumored to be interested.

Independent Maine Treasurer Terry Hayes, a former Democratic lawmaker from Buckfield, has filed to run in the November 2018 general election.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.