Wednesday, March 12, 2014
This may not be what former Gov. Angus King had in mind when he said he wants to help end bitter partisanship in politics.
But, as it turns out, he has already found some common ground for Democrats and Republicans. And all it took was for him to announce himself an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.
While Democrats and Republicans are complaining that King is getting too much media attention for someone who hasn’t even filed nomination papers (his are due June 1), the partisans are pretty well focused on King themselves.
Both sides have sent press releases criticizing King in recent weeks. In fact, at the first round of Democratic and Republican primary debates, the candidates from both parties talked more about King than about their potential opponents from the other party.
One of the first questions asked of the Republicans at Thursday evening’s forum in Presque Isle was, can you beat Angus King?
Former state Senate President Rick Bennett insisted that King’s record as governor will not look as good to voters once they are reminded about the growth in government during his years in the Blaine House.
In fact, King was one of the few topics that Democrats and Republicans agreed about in their recent debates. The others were Congress is broken and the federal debt is bad.
There are a few big reasons for the bipartisan fixation with King. His name and his money are two big ones, of course. Another – and maybe the most important – is the independent-minded Maine voter.
I wrote a story for the weekend about voter registration trends in Maine and how we compare to other states. We are pretty much considered a political oddity because of our independent streak, although it seems that other states are moving in our direction.Tweet
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or email@example.com
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or email@example.com