NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 3, 2010

Mihos: GOP rebel with a lot of causes

NEWBURYPORT — It's no secret Christy Mihos is a political outsider, and as he freely admits, he just doesn't fit in with the Beacon Hill bureaucracy.

After all, the Republican gubernatorial candidate shows up to meet-and-greets and political events in his own truck, by himself rather than with a campaign aide. He says it gives him time to practice his speeches, and the perk is that he can listen to whatever radio station he wants.

Now in his second run for governor, Mihos said the climate statewide is right for him.

Mihos, once the owner of the Christy's chain of convenience stores and former director of the embattled Massachusetts Turnpike Authority during the Big Dig, is running against Charlie Baker for the GOP's nomination for governor in the fall.

Mihos was in Newburyport last week for an event sponsored by the Newburyport Republican Committee, along with Baker running mate Sen. Richard Tisei. Beforehand, he took time to address some of the issues facing the state.

Faced with the challenge of getting at least 15 percent of the delegate votes at the April convention in Worcester to force a primary, Mihos said people are ready for something different.

"I'm an independent-thinking Republican," said Mihos, who lives on Cape Cod. "I'm for Main Street, not Wall Street."

Mihos, a longtime Republican, left the party and ran for governor as an Independent in 2006 because he said he believed the then-GOP candidate for governor, Kerry Murphy Healey of Beverly, and party leaders were planning on keeping him from getting 15 percent of the vote at the convention. By running as an Independent, Mihos secured a spot on the ballot in the final election.

In September 2008, with the recession looming, Mihos decided to sell his chain of convenience stores to the gas station chain Hess and has since set his sights on the governor's seat.

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