Wednesday July 25, 2012 | 10:02 AM

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Republican Charlie Summers in Maine’s U.S. Senate race, the campaign announced this morning.

Summers, a former regional administrator of the Small Business Administration, supports free enterprise over government intervention, Rob Engstrom, the U.S. Chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, said in a written statement. 

“After working in his family’s small business growing up, Summers understands the challenges job creators face,” he said. “Summers’ record in Maine shows that he will advocate for pro-growth policies to produce sustained economic growth, create more jobs, and get our country back on track. We’re proud to support him in his campaign to be Maine’s next U.S. Senator,” Engstrom said.

The national chamber is a major force in congressional races around the country. That probably has more to do with its political fundraising clout than its endorsements, although its says that  236 of the 276 Chamber-endorsed candidates in 2010 were elected.

The chamber was the largest spender nationwide on independent TV advertising on behalf of national candidates in 2010, according to Colby College Professor Anthony Corrado.  It's super PAC is likely one of the big-money committees watching the Maine Senate race for signs that Summers has a shot to win, something that could trigger spending on anti-Angus King television ads in Maine, according to Corrado and other experts. So far, no super PACs have been active in the Maine race.

Polls show Summers is running a distant second to independent Angus King. Also in the race are Democrat Cynthia Dill, and independents Danny Dalton, Andrew Ian Dodge and Steve Woods.

About the Author

Subscribe to the
Open Season RSS

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

Subscribe to the
Open Season RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012


June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.