Monday, October 3, 2005

Cianchette pulls out of governor's race

Published in the Current

SOUTH PORTLAND (Oct 3, 2005): Peter Cianchette has pulled out of the race for governor, barely two months after announcing he would make another run for the Blaine House.

A South Portland Republican who lost to John Baldacci in 2002 and was one of two Republicans vying to challenge Baldacci in 2006, Cianchette announced Monday he would no longer be seeking the Republican nod.

In a statement, Cianchette said he had concluded he wanted to be near his children for "some of the most important years of their young lives."

The announcement came as a "complete surprise" to Rep. Harold Clough, R-Scarborough, who said he found out about it the same way many people did, in an e-mail Monday afternoon.

Clough said he expected more potential candidates to come forward now that Cianchette was out of the race, saying some people would have stayed out and supported Cianchette. Clough would not name names.

Rep. Darlene Curley, R-Scarborough, had been mulling a run for the Blaine House but decided earlier this fall not to run. She could not be immediately reached for comment, but attended Cianchette's campaign launch Sept. 13 at a rally at Bug Light Park in South Portland.

At that event, Cianchette formally launched his campaign with his wife, Carolyn, and children, Evan and Maria, by his side.

At the September event, he thanked his family for their support in his campaign efforts. In Monday's statement, he thanked his family for backing his decision to drop out of the race.

"My wife and children are my strongest supporters," Cianchette said in an interview.

He said he thought they might have wanted him to stay in the race. He also said they would have understood if his campaign duties – or those of being governor were he to win – kept him from attending their activities or other family events.

"I didn't want to miss those things," he said. He said other people had asked if he or a family member was sick, or if his poll numbers were down, and denied that either was the case.

Cianchette said it was time on the campaign trail that showed him "this is not the right time for me."

"Public service and the demands that come with a public life" need to fit well with other aspects of a person's life, he said. He did not feel his personal priorities would have received enough attention, were he to continue to run.