Fact Check: Maine’s Final Gubernatorial Debate

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:45 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Last night, WAGM partnered with WABI and WMTW to bring you the final Gubernatorial debate of 2022 In an effort to keep, you, the voter as informed as possible We’ll break down some of the claims made by the Candidates.

The Final Gubernatorial Debate brought many claims from Governor Janet Mills, and Former Governor Paul Lepage about both their record and actions, as well as their opponents records and action. Our first check was a claim made by Former Governor Lepage duing his opening statement.

Governor Paul Lepage " Maine experienced the worst unemployment recovery during the pandemic”

According to a study from the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of public policy regarding the pandemic’s effects on each state’s economy featured data detailing the Percent of Jobs Recovered, Change in employment from February of 2020,Job Shortfall relative to trend, and Total Jobs from December 2007 to September of 2021, Maine was not last in any of the categories, and thus did not experience the worst unemployment recovery of any state in the union. The next claim was from Governor Mills about her opponent’s veto actions

Governor Janet Mills " I believe my opponent vetod an equal pay bill for women when he was governor”

According to the 128th Legislature’s LD 1259, an act regarding pay equality, the Bill passed both chambers of the maine legislature and was sent to Governor Lepage’s desk, which was veto’d by Governor Lepage.

Governor Lepage” Maine has experienced a record number of children deaths for two years in a row”

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services lists every child fatality and breaks them down by cause of death... According to that data, 2021 did see 29 child deaths, which is the highest recorded number of child deaths for any calendar year available, however in 2020, there were only 12 child deaths which was around an average number of child deaths, meaning the claim is partly true.

Governor Mills” The answer he gave to the Christian civic league questionnaire when they said will you restrict abortion, he said yes”

The Cristian Civic League posted the answer of every candidate questionnaire they received, from local races, through gubernatorial races for this year. Paul Lepage’s questionnaire clearly states the answer to their first question " Should access to abortion be restricted” where he checked the box for yes.

Governor Lepage” and despite what she is saying I built and left an enormously good economy”

While there are many ways to measure an economy, one way is through Gross Domestic Product or GDP. According to Statista.com in 2011 when Governor Lepage took office, Maine’s GDP was $53.79 Billion and in 2018 when he left office it was $58.18 Billion, an increase of $4.39 Billion. The final claim is from Governor Mills in response to Maine’s Dropping test scores from the pandemic

Governor Mills " Test scores in Maine have been declining since 2011, all the years that he was governor”

The metric for this claim is based on 4th grade standardized test scores that take place across the entire state. and while overall from 2011 to 2022, the score has been on a downward trend, there are years that have slightly increased such as 2011 to 2013 in both math and reading.

Links to our sources, as well as the full debate will be available on our website, Corey Bouchard, NS8