Crown Politics

How Shawn Moody went from independent ‘political virgin’ to LePage Republican

AUGUSTA, Maine — Eight years ago, Shawn Moody ran for the Blaine House with a campaign website that read, “I’m not a liberal. I’m not a conservative.” His new site calls him “a lifelong conservative.”

The Gorham businessman has gone from a self-proclaimed “political virgin” and also-ran independent hopeful to the front-runner in the first poll of the 2018 Republican primary to replace Gov. Paul LePage after enrolling in the party in October with members of the governor’s team behind him.

That alone is a feat for the affable 58-year-old with a thick Maine accent and a penchant for self-deprecation. He may resemble your father or uncle — if he was a self-made millionaire convinced in part by a lot of important people that he would make a great governor.

All of this has put a target on Moody in the Republican primary. His opponents single out his political inexperience, his recent shift to the party and some inconsistent or at least unclear stances over the years on matters crucial to the conservative base.

Ask Moody about his new party status and he gives two answers. The first is that he has always lived by Republican values, including “religious convictions” and “private enterprise” as an outsider candidate and the owner of Moody’s Collision Centers, which he founded at age 17.

The Fiddlehead Focus/St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “How Shawn Moody went from independent ‘political virgin’ to LePage Republican,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Michael Shepherd, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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