Maine: Candidates File to Run for Snowe’s Seat

Posted March 14, 2012 at 11:58pm

A day before the filing deadline, several candidates turned in the 2,000 signatures necessary to run for retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) seat.

But as of Wednesday afternoon, former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) and three Republicans, Secretary of State Charlie Summers, small-business man Scott D’Amboise and former state Sen. Rick Bennett had turned in their petitions.

Former Gov. John Baldacci announced Wednesday that he would not run for Senate, becoming the third serious Democratic candidate to decline to join the race to replace Snowe.

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

The frontrunner is former Gov. Angus King, who as an Independent candidate has until June to gather 4,000 signatures.

Today is the deadline for partisan candidates to finish gathering the 2,000 signatures needed to file with the secretary of state’s office. Another declared candidate, state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D), had yet to turn in her petition on Wednesday afternoon. But Dill has found a strange ally in the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has been touting her candidacy in news releases and on Twitter. The curious GOP support is quite obviously a ploy to pester the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,  which has gone to great lengths to tout the importance of female candidates this cycle.

According to a knowledgeable source, the NRSC in recent days has sent staffers and out-of-state volunteers to help GOP candidates gather signatures.