Wednesday, December 11, 2013
NOTE: This item was updated to correct the list of U.S. Senate candidates who completed the endorsement process. The League of Young Voters left two of the candidates off the list when releasing its endorsements.
The Maine League of Young Voters has released its slate of political endorsements, ranging from Pres. Obama to Nisha Swinton for the Portland Water District Board of Trustees.
But it did not pick a favorite in the race for Maine's U.S. Senate seat. None of the candidates qualified, according to State Direcrtor Nicola Wells.
"We had a concerns about all of the candidates and couldn't, with one resounding voice, endorse any one of them," Wells said.
The League takes its endorsements very seriously, asking candidates to answer detailed questionnaires and then conducting follow-up interviews. In the Senate contest, Democratic Cynthia Dill and independent candidates Angus King, Andrew Ian Dodge, Danny Dalton and Steve Woods answered the questionnaire and were interviewed. Republican Charlie Summers did not respond and were therefore not eligible.
The League is a non-partisan group. But almost all of its endorsements this year went to Democratic candidates, which might have seemed to give Dill an edge. (The league endorsed Dill's rival, Matthew Dunlap, in the Democratic primary.)
The non-endorsement of Dill comes after the progressive Democrat was passed up earlier this month by the Sierra Club, which endorsed King. Dill, of course, has not even been getting support from the national Democratic party these days for fear that she will split the vote with KIng and help elect Summers.
Wells would not go into detail about why Dill and the other candidates did not qualify for an endorsement. But she said it was because none of them adequately addressed the concerns and issues of the league's members rather than any strategic decision to stay out of the race.
"At this point none of the candidates really passed that thresshold for us, but we look forward to hearing more from the candidates between now and and November," she said.
The league will not endorse any more candidates between now and November, she said, but will post more information on ithe web.
Wells said the reason for the League's non-endorsement will be made clearer next Tuesday when it posts the questionnaires and interviews on its website.
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
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