Sen. Eric Brakey received the endorsement of former Maine Senate President and Maine Republican Party chairman Rick Bennett on Thursday. Brakey is running for the U.S. Senate against independent incumbent Sen. Angus King.
“Over the last several years, I’ve had a front row seat to watch Eric Brakey’s dynamic work in the Maine Senate,” Bennett said. “Bringing Republicans and Democrats together in divided government, Senator Brakey has negotiated the passage of Welfare Reform, restored our 2nd Amendment rights with Constitutional Carry, and consistently put the people of Maine ahead of special interest groups on both sides.”
Brakey, a libertarian leaning Republican representing Senate District 20 of Auburn, Minot, New Gloucester and Poland, announced his U.S. Senate campaign in early April. He currently serves as the Senate Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, where he helped usher welfare reforms through the Maine Legislature.
“I’m honored to have the support and endorsement of Rick Bennett, one of Maine’s most widely respected political leaders,” Brakey said in a press release. “Tackling some of the biggest issues facing our state in the Maine Senate, I have regularly sought Rick’s counsel and advice. Now that I am running to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our nation in the U.S. Senate, I appreciate Rick Bennett’s support and insight all the more.”
Brakey was elected to the Maine Senate in 2014 at the age of 26, which at the time made him the youngest state senator in Maine and the nation. He is best known for his efforts in passing constitutional carry in Maine in 2015, allowing law-abiding Mainers to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
There was much speculation in the media that current Maine Gov. Paul LePage would also challenge for the seat, however LePage said at a luncheon event in Caribou on Aug. 23 that he was no longer considering a run, making Brakey the premier Republican challenger for King’s seat in 2018.