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Cutler concedes

Eliot Cutler just finished his concession speech at his Commercial Street headquarters. (His staff had already begun clearing it out before the speech.)

 About an hour earlier, he'd called Paul LePage to concede the race.

 -       "So close," someone said by way of greeting. "Close doesn't count," he said dryly before approaching the podium.

-       He won't ask for a recount, and though the results aren't official yet, he conceded around 10:45 am because he didn't "want to make it more difficult for Paul to assemble a team." He also "didn't want to sort of slink away," he said later. Their conversation was short (and not particularly sweet, one might imagine).

-       He cited his grandfather, his children (who sat, with Cutler's wife Melanie, watching with tears in their eyes), and Edmund Muskie as inspirations along the way: "Doing something the right way is more important than winning and losing."

-       The lasting legacy of this race, he hopes, will be that the Cutler campaign "stuck a dagger in the heart of negative campaigning in the state of Maine."

-       Early voting is an example of "the institutional hold that political parties have on the political process," he said, calling that grip "a stranglehold." When voters are allowed to send in their ballots way in advance, they are weighing in on a political landscape that could significantly change - "before a surge begins to happen," in his case.

-       Another lesson learned from the close margin: "This should cause us to think about run-off voting in the state of Maine...and I intend to be part of that discussion."

-       But first, he and Melanie are going on vacation.

 

Here's the full video:

 

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