Matt Jacobson, the President of Maine & Co., a non-profit that helps businesses locate in Maine, has announced that he's launching a bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010.
Jacobson's press release announcing his candidacy presages a single-issue campaign based on job creation, which could be a powerful message in tough economic times. A major weakness may be that he has never held an elected position or run for office before in his life.
Primary campaigns in Maine demand solid skills in retail politics and a strong base of support. Jacobson hasn't yet demonstrated that he possesses either. His political positions on a wide range of issues are also completely unknown.
To start to get a sense of the man as a candidate, you can check out these videos from his monthly radio appearances on the right-leaning WLOB morning show.
Click "read more" below for the full release and campaign bio.
Matt Jacobson Announces 2010 Gubernatorial Exploratory Committee
EMBARGOED UNTIL THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009
Contact: Taylor Smith
February 26, 2009
PORTLAND, Maine – Matt Jacobson today announced the formation of an exploratory committee as the first step in launching his 2010 gubernatorial bid.
“Maine cannot wait for a stronger economy to simply come along. We need to go out and bring private sector jobs to Maine as soon as we can. That’s what I do – I bring jobs to Maine. I know how to do it, and I know what we need to be successful in our efforts. That’s why this week I will also be filing the required paperwork to take the next necessary step to be elected Governor in 2010,” announced Jacobson.
“My vision is for Maine to compete and win in this new economy. We will build strong communities that attract jobs and families, providing choice and opportunity to our workers. We will create an economic climate in Maine that is competitive with other states and the global economy.
“Maine can be a place where hard work is rewarded with opportunity, where our children can realize their dreams and our people have hope. We have an extraordinary state and talented people. We should be doing better, and we have a responsibility to create a brighter future for the next generation. Maine deserves a leader who knows how to combine our special strengths to create opportunities for all who would want to live and work here.”
Matt Jacobson has the experience and knowledge to fundamentally understand what it takes to create private sector jobs in Maine, and knows that quality jobs sustain strong families and vibrant communities. As the president of Maine & Company and previous president of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, Jacobson has been instrumental in bringing thousands of new jobs to Maine.
“Our families and our communities deserve the best opportunities possible as we work our way out of our current troubles,” Jacobson continued. “The old ways that have been ingrained in the political system - and implemented by career politicians or bureaucrats - are not working. This new economic environment requires new solutions and ideas that create jobs.
“When creating jobs is the critical mission, it is time for a job creator to come forward. Let’s create a future that provides the best possible lives for the current generation and for our children.”
Jacobson, a Republican, is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Air Force officer with nearly two decades of private-sector leadership. His combination of military and global executive experience offers voters a unique background and demonstrated effectiveness as a leader.
A group of Maine leaders has been meeting with Jacobson to plan his potential gubernatorial campaign and to discuss the imperative priorities of a Jacobson administration.
Jacobson’s exploratory committee includes Mainers who share his vision of a new direction and new leadership for Maine. Committee members include Brian Hamel, Jim Harnden, Chip Harris, Doug Hazlett, Roger Katz, Chip Kelly, Sam Ladd, Lisa Martin, Peter Moore, Ford Reiche, Bob Sargent, Eileen Skinner, Mark Swisher and Larry Wold.
Jacobson concluded: “I look forward to meeting and speaking with workers, their families, community leaders and citizens throughout Maine to get your ideas on creating jobs, and to share my own ideas.
“Your jobs. Your families. Your communities. These are my priorities.”
Matt Jacobson - Bio
Matthew C. Jacobson, 48, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Maine & Company. Maine & Company is the only organization dedicated exclusively to business attraction and job creation in Maine. As its chief executive, Matt develops and executes business attraction and expansion strategies with businesses, state and local authorities and other stakeholders. Under Matt's leadership since 2006, Maine & Company has recruited several major companies to Maine including NotifyMD, athenahealth and Boston Financial Data Services. These companies will combine to hire over 1,500 new employees.
Prior to joining Maine & Company, Matt was most recently Assistant Vice President, Sales and Marketing, at Canadian National Railways, based in Chicago, Ill. In his various roles at CN from 2000 - 2005, Matt was responsible for International and North America Intermodal sales and marketing, and a revenue budget of $1.1 billion. Matt organized, planned, developed, and executed CN’s Asia strategy. Matt traveled extensively in Asia and met with officials in each country to secure visas and other required permits. While at CN, Matt also executed a locomotive repair plan to maintain hundreds of millions of dollars in capital equipment invested in CN’s locomotive fleet.
From 1996 -2000 Matt was President and Chief Operating Officer of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, headquartered in Auburn, Maine. During his four-year tenure, the railroad tripled its revenue, increasing corporate earnings by 65%. The railroad also attracted 23 new businesses to its line. Matt was featured in The Wall Street Journal, and the St. Lawrence was named North America's best Shortline Railroad by Railway Age Magazine.
From 1991 to 1996, Matt worked in Florida for the CSX railroad company in various executive capacities.
Matt is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (1985) and holds an MBA from Chapman University (1992). He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Matt has over 3,000 hours of flight time, primarily in command of the C-130 Hercules. In addition to being an aircraft commander, he was an instructor and evaluator pilot. Jacobson received an honorable discharge from active duty in April 1991. From 1991-1993 he served in the Air Force active reserve. He received an honorable discharge from reserve duty in March 2000.
Matt is married to Dr. Kemedy Katherine McQuillen. A graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Vermont Medical School, Dr. McQuillen is an emergency room doctor at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. Matt and Kate reside in Cumberland and have two children, Hank and Maggie. Jacobson is Roman Catholic.
Jacobson serves on the Board of Trustees of The Park Danforth, the Board of Directors of the Portland Community Chamber and the Maine Biotech Association, and the Board of Advisors of Catch a Piece of Maine and The Maine Heritage Policy Center. He formerly served on the board of Halterm Limited.
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