Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Secretary of State Charlie Summers is in Tampa on Wednesday not as a delegate to the Republican National Convention but instead as a U.S. Senate candidate looking for campaign cash.
Tampa is where it's at right now if you're a Republican, with tens of thousands of party faithful, political leaders, corporate big-wigs, lobbyists and political organizations crowded into downtown and its environs. The convention itself only consumes a few hours a day so there are dozens of other activities - from speeches to workshops and plain old parties - to fill the rest of the time.
Lance Dutson, spokesman for Summers' campaign, said he will be attending several events that are not fundraisers for him in particular but are aimed at raising money for the campaign. Summers is hoping to narrow the gap with former Gov. Angus King, the perceived front-runner in the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.
For instance, Summers is slated to speak at an event sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization.
Summers was actually named as a delegate to the GOP convention by the Republican National Committee last week after the RNC removed 10 Ron Paul delegates from Maine and replaced them with Mitt Romney supporters. But Summers, who had only planned to be in Tampa on Wednesday, passed up the delegate seat.
Dutson said he did not believe Summers planned to attend Wednesday's convention ceremonies that will culminate with a speech by Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
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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.
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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.
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