Thursday May 31, 2012 | 10:41 AM

The Republican U.S. Senate primary is heating up with just over a week until the vote, and State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin is at the center of the first controversy.

Poliquin is facing criticism from his opponents for a campaign mailer with his photo overlaying a photo of Gov. Paul Lepage. It says: "Two Conservatives Fighting for Maine's Future." Here is a look:



Poliquin has been running on the LePage Administration's record, touting his supporting role as part of the team that brought fiscal and regulatory reforms. Candidates have quietly criticized Poliquin for taking credit for others' accomplishments, but the mailer brought the issue out into the open late Wednesday.

It also led LePage to issue a statement saying he is not endorsing any candidate in the Senate primary.

Here is a statement from one of Poliquin's rivals, Attorney General Bill Schneider:

"Throughout this campaign, Bruce Poliquin has attempted to ride the Governor's coattails and claim as his own the successes of the Republican administration and Legislature.  In fact, all Republicans have contributed in large measure to our successes.

"Poliquin's recent mailing is remarkable in its bold attempt to imply an endorsement by the Governor.  I encourage Treasurer Poliquin to focus on his own record and to be straight with Republican voters."

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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