Monday March 12, 2012 | 05:09 PM

Former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci is ready to file for a U.S. Senate run - if he decides to make a Senate run for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.

That was the word this afternoon from Dan Cashman, a Bangor public relations executive serving as a spokesman for Baldacci. The potential Baldacci campaign apparatus has gathered more than the required 2,000 petition signatures needed to get on the ballot, Cashman said.

But Baldacci is still weighing whether he actually wants to run for a race that could decide the Senate majority and that features the nationally prominent independent candidacy of former Gov. Angus King.

At least two other Democrats say they are going to run: former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and state Sen. Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth. A number of Republicans also are weighing a run, including former Maine Senate President Rick Bennett, Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Attorney General William Schneider.

Two other big name Democrats have bowed out of Senate bids: Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.

Baldacci is wrapping up a job at the Pentagon, where he has been working on military health care reform issues. He can't discuss his political aspirations until he formally leaves that job sometime this month, Cashman said. But, of course, if he is going to run for the Senate Baldacci must file his signatures by Thursday.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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