Emily Cain Weighing Challenge to Snowe

Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:30pm

Emily Cain won’t rule anything out, but the Democrat certainly isn’t close to announcing a bid to challenge Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in 2012.

Cain may be the most powerful Democrat in the Maine State House, but the 30-year-old House Minority Leader told Roll Call, “I just became old enough to run for the U.S. Senate 12 months ago.”

“I don’t think that will probably happen,” she said of a Senate run. “Mostly because I have a lot of work I’m focused on at the state level. There seems to be no doubt that Sen. Snowe will run for that seat. It’s also not a secret that she’d be tough for anybody to beat.”

Cain, who will be term-limited out of a job in 2012, is one of just a handful of Democrats thought to be weighing a run against Snowe, whose popularity among Democrats in Maine is very strong. The consensus is that her toughest challenge may come from the right, where two grass-roots conservatives have already announced primary bids.

Cain acknowledged she would like to seek higher office “when the timing is right.” And she’ll be watching Snowe’s Republican primary closely.

“We assume she’s going to win that primary, but you never know what can happen,” Cain said. “But a decision to run in 2012 is not based on necessarily who I’d be running against or who Olympia would be running against. … Today, I can’t say whether it’s the right time for me yet.”