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February 26, 2009 | last updated November 30, 2011 1:43 pm

Jacobson considers run for governor

Photo/David A. Rodgers
Photo/David A. Rodgers
Matt Jacobson, CEO of Maine & Co., is exploring a run for governor

Reader comments

From Susan

This is terrific news. Mr Jacobson spoke at our annual Chamber of Commerce dinner in the Oxford Hills. He has common sense, is a clear thinker and a great vision for Maine. I think I will vote for a Republican this time around.

From James

Where do I sign up?

From Mike

You go Matt. I've worked with Matt for years when I was the former Mayor of Belfast and he has the ideas, drive, and excitement to be a great governor. I do disagree that simply lowering taxes will work to stimulate our economy. We do need a different tax structure for certain. I look forward to this campaign and Matt's candidacy.

From Chris

Matt's focus on energizing the economy and attracting jobs and businesses to Maine is the perfect skillset for the next Governor of our great state. Good Luck Matt!

From Ron

I sat on the board of Directors with Matt at the Auburn Business Development Corp. and he has a lot to offer. The State Of maine needs change and he is a clear choice to make that happen and get us back on track. He has my vote and I will help him all I can. Sign me up as well!

From Jodie Lapchick

Go Matt. You may even get my (far left) vote!

Matt Jacobson, CEO of Maine & Co., this morning announced his intention to run for the Blaine House next year.

Jacobson, a Republican, has created an exploratory committee populated with some business heavyweights, including Larry Wold from TD Banknorth, Eileen Skinner from Mercy Hospital, Sam Ladd from Maine Bank & Trust and Ford Reiche from Safe Handling. Jacobson stresses that the members of his exploratory committee are involved on a personal basis and do not represent their companies.

He told Mainebiz he's been considering a run for governor for about a year. "The big motivation for me is, as I look around the country and state, we're going to be the first generation to leave America worse than we found it in history. That's not acceptable to me. I can't just stand by and watch that happen," he says. "Maine has a tremendous opportunity. We have great people. We should have a better economy."

Jacobson, who writes a bimonthly column for Mainebiz, says Maine's next governor will be faced with the major task of strengthening the state's economy, an endeavor he knows intimately through his role at Maine & Co., a nonprofit business attraction firm in Portland. "I really think it's time to do something different and really focus on economic development," he told Mainebiz. "And it's time for someone who has brought jobs to Maine to lead that effort."

He's still developing his platform, but says jobs, family and community will be the major issues he will address. He says lowering taxes will be a major part of the economic development effort needed, as well as targeting those areas where Maine has a competitive advantage, such as tourism. "Clearly we need to spend more time creating opportunities in Maine and less time maintaining people in poverty."

One challenge Jacobson faces is his relative obscurity outside the business and economic development community. "I'm cognizant to that. I'm an outsider, not of the political class," he says. "But I have some new and different ideas and I think that in this environment, that could be a real asset."

Before coming to Maine & Co., Jacobson was assistant vice president, sales and marketing, at Canadian National Railways, based in Chicago.

From 1996 -2000, he was president and COO of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, headquartered in Auburn.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Jacobson holds an MBA from Chapman University. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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