Opioids and Maine’s Gubernatorial Campaign

 The Story:

A recent poll by Pan Atlantic Research shows Janet Mills (D), Maine’s Attorney General, leading in the campaign to elect that state’s next Governor, in a campaign in which the opioid-abuse epidemic is a central issue. Mills is 8% ahead of the Republican, Shawn Moody, a businessman.

Background:

According to some estimates, on average one resident of Maine dies every day from a drug overdose. Mills has made the opioid epidemic her signature issue.

As the state’s AG, Mills has brought lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, claiming that they have marketed products as non-addictive when in fact they plainly are addictive. As a candidate for Governor, she speaks passionately about supportive therapies, and “addressing the stigma associated with substance use disorder.”

Her chief opponent, Moody, asked about that issue, has sounded somewhat more technocratic: “We must evaluate our recovery centers by implementing a ‘Dashboard’ consisting of not less than five and not more than 10 key matrices that will allow us to measure results and share best practices across the recovery community.”

The Thing to Know:

The election is important in part because the new Governor will have a lot to say about the next redistricting of the state, after the 2020 census. Under the state’s law, the Governor will have the power to veto such new district maps as the legislature may propose.

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