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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 smistler@pressherald.com.
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 erussell@pressherald.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 mbyrne@pressherald.com
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 rbillings@pressherald.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 kmiller@pressherald.com
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 mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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Previous entries

April 2014

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

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June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

Tuesday April 01, 2014 | 04:50 PM

Early in the 2014 race for governor, the ghost of the late Sen. Edmund Muskie is casting a long shadow.

Independent Eliot Cutler and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat, are both laying claim to Muskie's legacy as an environmentalist and consensus builder. 

Muskie, a Democrat, is the architect of the federal Clean Air and Clear Water Acts. He has been dead 18 years, but is at the forefront of many people’s minds right now. Glowing tributes abounded around March 28, which would have been his 100th birthday.

Cutler will not let voters forget his connection to Muskie, with whom he worked for six years. As a legislative assistant, Cutler helped Muskie draft Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

Monday November 19, 2012 | 10:29 AM

Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon, narrowly retained his seat after a recount Friday, but missed a political finance disclosure deadline by a longshot.

Mason's Charting Maine's Future PAC made a $1206 radio ad buy on Caribou's Channel X Radio just two days before the election, and by Maine law should have reported the purchase Nov. 5. Mason didn't file the required disclosure with the state ethics commission until Nov. 14.

The ads supported three Aroostook County Republicans: Jonathan.J. Roy (who lost House District 2 in the Madawaska area to Democrat Kenneth Theriault), Mike Nadeau (who upset longtime speaker John Martin in House District 1) and Peter Edgecomb (who lost to incumbent Sen. Troy Jackson in Senate District 35).

Barring special circumstances, Mason's PAC would be liable to pay a small fine for the late filing.

Thursday November 08, 2012 | 06:46 PM

We've been told that Angus King's victory speech on Tuesday night was inspiring, even moving.

Yeah, it was pretty good. The guy has a way with words.

But Andrew Ian Dodge's concession statement? That was pure poetry. (Notice we didn't say good poetry.)

We'll publish them both here for posterity.

Thursday November 08, 2012 | 11:22 AM

Angus King's election to the U.S. Senate made headlines – or at least a headline – in Scotland.

It turns out that King's well-known Scottish roots make him somewhat of a local celebrity amid the lochs and highlands. It's kind of like the excitement Pres. Barack Obama's election in 2008 created in Kenya, without most of the excitement.

The Scotsman, a Scottish newspaper and web site, ran an item today about Maine's new senator noting that he "came on stage on Tuesday night to the sound of bagpipes."

"Angus King jokingly told The Scotsman he planned to be the first Angus in the Senate," the story says.

Monday November 05, 2012 | 09:40 AM

With independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King well ahead in the final pre-election polls, the bigger question now may not be whether he will win but what role he would play in the Senate.

If the Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats – and King wins as expected – the former governor could be a king-maker by deciding who serves as Senate majority leader and which party gets to assign chairmen and women of the committees. On the other hand, if either party wins a clear majority with a comfortable margin of votes, his influence will be much less.

The possibilities are laid out in a Associated Press item today that quotes former senate majority leaders Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

A month or two ago, King was getting a lot of national attention as a possible swing vote. Less so in recent weeks as Democratic candidates in several key states opened up leads in the polls (thanks in part to a couple of controversial comments about abortion by Republicans in Missouri and Indiana).