John R. McKernan, Jr.
The 1986 Maine gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Democratic Governor Joseph Brennan was term limited and unable to seek re-election. First district Congressman John McKernan defeated Democratic Party challenger James Tierney as well as former Republican turned Independent Sherry Huber and former Portland, Maine city manager John Menario, making McKernan the first Republican to win the Blaine House in since 1968.
The three main issues during the campaign were: the future of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Wiscasset, economic development and McKernan's congressional record.
The future of the Power Plant had been placed up for statewide referendum in 1980 and again in 1982. McKernan and Menario opposed the closure of Maine Yankee, while Tierney and Huber supported the efforts to close the Plant in 1988.