Tuesday, March 11, 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.
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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.
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