Gubernatorial candidate Mike Heath, left, with publisher of the Fort Fairfield Journal, David Deschene, right, at Governors in Presque Isle. Credit: David DiMinno / David DiMinno | The Star-Herald)

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Gubernatorial candidate Mike Heath told a Presque Isle audience Tuesday that people should be more afraid of their loss of liberty than of COVID-19 as part of his 2-day sweep through Aroostook County.

Mike Heath visited Presque Isle on his journey through northern Maine to gather support for his campaign against former Gov. Paul LePage, as the two men vie for the Republican nomination for governor in the primary election. Heath met with some of his supporters at Governor’s Restaurant, and hosted a livestream where he answered more questions and discussed his views, a practice that he does every week at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Heath has not yet reached his 2,000 signature goal to be put on the ballot, a number that he will need to achieve by the end of January if he wishes to run for office.

The most important point of his campaign for The County is destroying the powers of fear that “COVID cult liturgists” have forced upon the people of Aroostook, Heath said.

“My No. 1 issue in my campaign is helping the people of Maine become afraid of the real thing to be afraid of, which is the loss of liberty, not the virus that 99 percent of people survive,” Heath said.

Along those lines, Heath also said that the best way to solve employment issues in restaurants is to remove the fear that COVID has placed on society. He said that every small business in Maine should be open for business.

When it comes to issues of alternative energy, Heath is not in favor of windmills due to their physical appearance.

“I grew up hiking and I love mountaintops, which offer such soul refreshing vistas,” Heath explained. “I hate that aspect of wind energy. On solar energy, I hate covering all these fields with panels, and I have to believe that we have the ability to do solar better. There has to be a way to incentivise solar energy on people’s homes. Not everything has to be huge.”

Aroostook County has a handful of wind and solar farms already established, with more on the way.

Heath began his trek in Penobscot County at the beginning of the week, then stopped in Millinocket before spending the night in Houlton. His journey Tuesday took him to Presque Isle, and then he is heading to Caribou and Perham. On Wednesday, he heads back to Houlton and then to Burlington, Vermont, to be a part of the Vermont COVID-19 Summit.

David grew up in New York, and moved to Maine to study political science at the University of Maine. In his spare time, he loves hiking, playing tennis and skiing.