Friday, April 18, 2014
Maine's U.S. Senate campaigns are gearing up for the final push to Nov. 6. Here's a look at some behind the scenes developments.
Angus King opened a new campaign office in Bangor Wednesday. That's in addition to the campaign headquarters in Brunswick and an office in Presque Isle. Offices will open next week in Auburn and Portland, according to the campaign.
King, meanwhile, has already paid for significant television advertising time in the two weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election. He spent a total of $122,308 in the Portland market to reserve slots, including during evening newscasts and the New England Patriots game on Oct 28. Totals for the Bangor and Presque Isle TV markets were not immediately available.
It's common for candidates to reserve last-minute air time well in advance because of the competition for prime advertising slots in late October and early November – especially during such a hotly contested presidential election. King, however, is the only candidate so far to lay down money for last-minute ads in the Portland market.
Charlie Summers unveiled the first TV ad of the general election campaign this week.
The campaign said the 30-second ad will begin running in the Bangor market today and in the Portland market next week. It's not known how much Summers is spending, but a spokesman said it will be a significant buy of air time over the next two weeks. As of Wednesday, Summers had not yet bought any air time in the Portland market.
Meanwhile, Summers has increased the size of his campagn staff from five to eight in the past month.
Among the additions are two experienced campaign aides with ties to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
New field director Luke Marchant is a former political director for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., and a former staffer to Cornyn and Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas.
New communications director Drew Brandewie was Cornyn's press secretary and before that was a staffer for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. Brandewie, a Texas native, takes over full time for Jen Webber, who handled press duties on a more part-time basis as a consultant.
Cynthia Dill, who appeared on MSNBC last weekend, has made at least one internal staff change as well.
Jeannine Guttman and Patsy Wiggins, former Maine journalists and owners of Boss Media & Communications, are now handling day-to-day press secretary duties. The pair came on as media consultants in July, at the time joining Dill's campaign spokesman, Bob Mentzinger.
Mentzinger said he had been helping Dill on a contract basis, and that it was time for full-time professional media staff on the campaign.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME