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February 13, 2016

Posts in "Maine"

January 8, 2016

Before Donald Trump, There Was Maine’s Paul LePage

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention.  (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

It’s not unusual for Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s comments to make national news.

The two-term Maine Republican has a penchant for speaking off the cuff in a similar tell-it-like-it-is manner as the presidential candidate whom he’s endorsed, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

But his most recent comments sound a lot more like current GOP front-runner Donald Trump, earning LePage — who as recently as Thursday said he was thinking “very seriously” about running for Senate in 2018 — more national attention. Full story

May 22, 2014

Tom Steyer’s 2014 Targets Start With Four Senate Races

Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ financial answer to the Koch brothers, has set his sights on specific Senate and gubernatorial races to spend the $100 million he’s earmarked for the midterm elections.

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, aims to promote candidates who support action to mitigate the effects of climate change. It was active in last year’s elections for Virginia governor and a vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The group has now targeted the competitive Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire, and the Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine gubernatorial contests. It will back the Democratic candidate in each case. Full story

September 17, 2012

Maine: Democrat Rails On Sierra Club’s Support for Angus King

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Sierra Club is happy with Maine Independent Senate candidate Angus King, but not everyone is happy with the Sierra Club.

The environmental group announced earlier today that it was endorsing King. The move is not completely conventional. Statistically, the group tends to favor Democratic candidates, but the Sierra Club extensively cited King’s environmental work as governor in its logic for endorsing him.

And the Democrat in that race, state Sen. Cynthia Dill, let her displeasure be known in a press release today.

Full story

June 12, 2012

Maine: Charles Summers, Cynthia Dill Win Maine Primaries

Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D) won their party primaries in Maine on Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.

The two will go on to face the race frontrunner, Independent former Gov. Angus King, in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The Snowe retirement caught Republicans off guard and resulted in a short and scrambled primary. Low voter awareness of the race, a lack of television advertising and the short window made the GOP side highly unpredictable.

Summers defeated former state Senate President Rick Bennett and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, with 29 percent of the vote, with 75 percent of precincts reporting.

On the Democratic side, Dill defeated former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap by 44 percent to 37 percent. Dill and Dunlap were not blue-chip recruits. The A team of Democratic candidates avoided the race after King’s candidacy became clear. National Democrats paid scant attention to the primary.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Independent.

March 29, 2012

Conservative Senators Pick Sides in Texas, Missouri and Maine Primaries

Sen. Tom Coburn endorsed Senate candidates in Texas and Missouri today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There were Senate endorsements galore in GOP circles today, with a few of the highest profile conservative Senators coming out in support of candidates locked in tough GOP primaries. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:

  • Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz picked up an endorsement from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Alluding to one of the most intense rivalries in college football (between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma), Coburn wrote in a statement, “Oklahoma and Texas may have our friendly rivalry, but when it comes to fighting for limited government, I’m proud to endorse my neighbor across the Red River.”
  • Along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Coburn also gave his nod to businessman John Brunner, one of three contenders for the GOP nomination in the Missouri Senate race. “John Brunner will be a force for fiscal conservatism in the U.S. Senate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy,” Coburn said in a statement released by the Brunner campaign. Earlier this year, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) endorsed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, another GOP contender hoping to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in November.
  • Finally, Lee backed Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin in the Pine Tree State’s GOP Senate primary. A source in the Poliquin camp told Roll Call that a statement is forthcoming.

March 14, 2012

Maine: Baldacci Opts Against Senate Run

Former Maine Gov. John Baldacci announced this morning that he would not run for Senate, becoming the third serious Democratic candidate to drop out of the race to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).

“For me, politics has always been about the people you represent, the people you meet and talk to, the folks who need your help and put their trust in you, who are convinced that you can make things better. I’ve always tried to put their interests ahead of my own. This is not the right time for me personally,” Baldacci said in a statement, according to Portland television affiliate WMTW.

It is yet one more turn in a race that has proven to be one of the most bizarre this cycle.

Full story

March 7, 2012

Maine: Chellie Pingree Passes on Senate Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree has opted not to run for retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat.

“After careful consideration I have decided to run for re-election to the U.S. House this year,” she said in a statement. “There is much at stake in this election and although the prospect of running for and possibly serving in the United States Senate was very exciting, in the end I concluded that I will best serve the people of Maine by running for re-election to the House.” Full story

March 6, 2012

Maine: Poll Shows Independent Leading Senate Race

A poll on the open-seat Maine Senate race was released today showing Democrats could have trouble winning a three-way contest.

The Public Policy Polling survey showed Rep. Chellie Pingree, who’s considering running for the Democratic nomination, soundly beating GOP contenders. But when factoring in now-declared Independent candidate former Gov. Angus King, Pingree falls to second place behind King.

The poll was the source of  much discussion on Monday among Maine political operatives. Several unaligned Democrats privy to the results Monday were spooked and expressed uncertainty about a Democratic victory given the dynamics of a three-way contest. Full story

March 5, 2012

Maine: King Enters Senate Race; Democrats Express Unease

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) declared his candidacy to succeed retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) this evening.

Despite his lack of official party affiliation, state operatives have repeatedly described King as a worthy opponent, more frontrunner than spoiler. His political ideology is described as socially moderate or liberal and fiscally conservative.

And the middle ground is where King is planting his flag.

“In a closely divided Senate, I can be a broker for common sense,” King said in his announcement at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. “In a national debate that’s largely taken over by the extremes … I can speak for the middle.”

Full story

Maine: Indie Angus King Set to Run for Olympia Snowe Seat

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) will throw his hat into the race to succeed retiring Sen. OIympia Snowe (R), according to local reports. He will make the announcement tonight at Bowdoin College.

The Portland Press Herald and Boston Globe are reporting that King will run as an Independent, a factor that will make the normal political calculus difficult to determine. King was originally a Democrat, but he served as an Independent governor in the 1990s and early 2000s. In an interview last week with Roll Call, King declined to indicate which party he would caucus with if elected as an Independent.

Among the Democrats weighing Senate bids are Rep. Chellie Pingree and ex-Gov. John Baldacci. Republicans mulling the open-seat contest are Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers, state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Attorney General William Schneider. Full story

March 2, 2012

Maine: Kevin Raye Decides Not to Run for Senate

Maine state Senate President Kevin Raye (R) has decided to continue his campaign against Rep. Mike Michaud (D) in the state’s 2nd district, instead of mounting a Senate bid.

Raye had been considering the statewide race in light of Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R) retirement announcement this week. In a statement, Raye described the encouragement he had received from his supporters.

“Many of them have urged me to run for the United States Senate, and others have asked me to continue my candidacy for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat,” he said. “After careful consideration, I have decided to remain a candidate for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Full story

February 29, 2012

Maine: Mike Michaud, Chellie Pingree Prepare Senate Campaigns

Both Reps. Chellie Pingree (above) and Mike Michaud could end up running for Maine's open Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maine Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud have begun the process of building Senate campaigns, even though neither has come to a final decision on whether to run to succeed retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).

Sources in both camps maintain that the looming March 15 deadline to file forced the two Representatives to move ahead with gathering petition signatures as they still mull a Senate run.

While there have been reports that national Democrats are pushing for the two Members to decide between themselves which of them will run for Senate, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the two will square off in the Democratic primary, according to a Maine Democrat.

Full story

February 28, 2012

Maine: Olympia Snowe Announces Retirement

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Olympia Snowe announced today that she is retiring from the Senate, citing the partisanship of Washington as her reason for not running for re-election.

“With my Spartan ancestry I am a fighter at heart; and I am well prepared for the electoral battle, so that is not the issue. However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be,” the Maine Republican said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” she added. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

Roll Call Politics had rated this race as Safe Republican. Snowe’s decision means that the race is seriously in play for Democrats. She was first elected to the Senate in 1994 and won her last re-election in 2006 with 74 percent of the vote.

February 11, 2012

Mitt Romney Goes Two for Two With Maine Win

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the non-binding Maine presidential caucuses today, capping off a day on which he also won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll.

Romney took 39 percent of the vote in Maine, where fewer than 5,600 votes were cast, followed by Rep. Ron Paul (texas), who got 36 percent of the vote. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) did not compete in the Pine Tree State but got 18 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Full story

February 3, 2012

Maine: Democratic Poll Shows Michaud With Big Lead

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Michaud has a solid lead over his Republican challenger in Maine’s 2nd district, according to a poll commissioned by the Democratic lawmaker’s campaign.

Michaud led state Senate President Kevin Raye (R) 55 percent to 32 percent in the poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Normington Petts. The survey also showed Michaud with a favorable/unfavorable rating of 51 percent/19 percent and with 88 percent name identification in the redrawn district.

Full story

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