While many shop owners are worried about their cycle times and car counts, Moody is working to make changes in a state where he opened his first shop back in 1977. Today, Moody’s Collision Centers offers 11 locations throughout Maine.
Moody, 58, ran for governor as an independent in 2010, when Maine’s current governor, Paul LePage, was elected to his first term. Since then, Moody has registered as a Republican and is one of the 16 candidates running. Even though he is considered an outsider with little political experience, Moody is gaining local support and will be campaigning throughout the state until party primaries take place in June.
Moody is supportive of the current governor's efforts, but wants to take them to the next level while continuing on the same path, he said.
“My goal is to take what LePage has achieved and build upon it. We'll continue to trim down government waste and take that money to strengthen the economy, so it's definitely going to be good for the people and businesses that operate in Maine."
Moody has learned a lot since running eight years ago, he said, and is using the skills he gained as a body shop owner to hopefully win this time around.
"Operating an MSO is like running a campaign, because you have to assemble a strong team and then empower your people to succeed,” he said. “As a shop owner, I expect things to happen fast, and in government, sometimes that does not occur. I'm a doer, not a talker, and [am] always looking for a viable and sensible solution for any problem, so I would love an opportunity to serve the people of Maine."
Moody opened his three-bay first body shop in Gorham, ME, in 1977, when he was still in high school.
“I was a shop owner and I still couldn't vote," he said. "But jumping right in at a young age was a great way to learn the industry, and running for governor is similar. I have never been afraid of any challenge, and that includes this next one."
Moody's platform is built on jobs, economic prudence, how to deal with the opioid crisis, anti-gun control and other issues that Maine voters are concerned with.
About jobs: "I know the best way for someone to succeed is to have a great-paying job," Moody said. As an entrepreneur, I have helped create jobs all over the state. We need better-paying jobs and to embrace new opportunities. We simply cannot allow Augusta and our state government to fall back into a system of job-killing red tape and an attitude that tells job creators ‘no’ rather than offering our men and women entrepreneurs a helping hand. Give businesses what they need and get government out of their way."
Fiscal control: "We can’t mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future," he said. "You know, some politicians here in Maine just want to keep borrowing, spending with no real long-term plans, and with just the hope that it will work out. If I ran my business like that, we would have been bankrupt a long time ago. Our rainy day savings fund is there to protect our state for the long term. Unfortunately, some irresponsible politicians think that it’s raining every day. Others believe we can continue to just keep raising taxes on the Maine people or our job creators and there will be no repercussions for our economy and state, but that kind of thinking has to stop." Supporting law enforcement in the fight against opioids: "We donated a van we fixed up in 1994 to the Gorham Police Department in a joint effort to launch the D.A.R.E program, and my business has partnered with local law enforcement in drug take-back efforts to help in the fight of opioid abuse. That is the same type of action I will take as your Governor. I will work with our law enforcement community to support their efforts to keep Maine people safe from crime and to fight the opioid abuse problem that has affected so many communities and families. We will support peer to peer recovery efforts that have worked so well with organizations like AA. We can’t turn a blind eye to this and hope that it goes away."
Gun control and hunting: "Maine has a long, proud outdoor heritage with hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, skiing, snowmobiling and many other activities. I have spent my life enjoying most of them. We have turned our back on the blue-collar recreation activities like snowmobiling, motorcycles, motorsports and ATV. We will promote these and re-vitalize, especially our recreational economy across Western, Northern and Downeast Maine. As our next governor, I will work to protect our ability to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors and support our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms, and this right shall never be questioned. As our next governor, I look forward to taking the oath of office and defending the Maine Constitution, including Section 16."
Lowering health care costs: "High health care costs affect our families, our senior citizens and our small business job creators. We need to look for solutions. Senior citizens face co-pays. Families have high deductibles with insurance coverage. Our job creators struggle to provide benefits for their employees they want to support. Unfortunately, Washington is playing a heavy role in the health care of Mainers. A heavy hand from the national government makes it harder to use in-state tailored solutions. However, I am committed to working toward solutions to this crisis."