- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The weekend doesn’t mean a chance to rest for the three candidates vying for Maine governor.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler are spending the final few days ahead of the election rallying supporters and making last-minute pitches to voters.

LePage began Saturday at the Blaine House food drive, where U.S. Sen. Susan Collins gave her first formal endorsement of the governor. The campaign is hoping that the popular senator’s full support in the final days of the race will give a boost to LePage, who’s locked in tight race with Michaud.

Cutler is trailing in a distant third.

On Saturday, Michaud joined AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard at a rally in Portland. Michaud was also talking to students at Bates College in Lewiston, touring the downtown and meeting voters at Baxter Brewing Co.

Cutler began the day in Old Town and was ending it at a private campaign event in Portland. On Sunday, Cutler will be stumping in South Portland before another private event in York County.

As the race winds down, the campaigns are turning their focus to get-out-the-vote efforts.

President Barack Obama swung through Maine Thursday, seeking to energize Democrats who have a history of sitting out of midterm elections.

On Monday, Michaud will campaign in Skowhegan with U.S. Sen. Angus King, the independent who recently announced his support for the Democrat after initially backing Cutler. In making the switch, King called himself a “realist.”

At a fundraiser in Bangor Tuesday, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie implored LePage supporters to make the governor’s re-election their “mission.” The chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association will hold a rally for LePage Monday in Portland just hours before polls open Tuesday morning.

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