AUGUSTA – For the first time since 2006, the Maine Republican Party will contest every state Senate and House of Representative seat. That’s 151 candidates on the House side and 35 for the Senate, with many sitting lawmakers running for reelection.
“Having candidates in every seat not only speaks to the urgency Republicans feel in the need to put Maine’s economy back on track and protect the individual freedoms of Maine people,” said Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett in a press release.
“It also speaks to the strength of our party organization as we evolve and grow into a full-time, professional organization,” he said.
“[T]o the hundreds of thousands of Mainers of all parties who want a brighter future for their children and grandchildren, more individual freedoms, and a vibrant Maine economy, hang in there,” said Bennett. “The strongest, fullest field of Republicans in more than two decades is coming to the rescue, and they are ready to make Maine a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Maine Republicans see in the field of candidates the makings of a statewide rout similar to the 2010 victories which propelled the GOP into majorities in both houses of the Legislature.
Republican officials believe having local contests in every district will also boost Republican turnout in the gubernatorial and congressional elections.
“Republicans will compete in every single House district in the state,” said Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport). “There’s no district too blue. We’re going to have a great November with leaders like Senator Susan Collins and Governor Paul LePage at the top of the ticket, and we will be working with them to maximize our efforts.”
No word yet on how many candidates the Maine Democrats have fielded, but a source present for petition turn-ins at the Secretary of State’s office likened the frazzled Democratic Party staffers to keystone cops.