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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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November 2012

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June 2012

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April 2012

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).

Saturday November 03, 2012 | 02:11 PM

K12 Inc., the Hernodon, Va. based digital learning powerhouse that has reapplied to manage a full-time virtual charter school in Maine, is facing renewed pressure in Florida.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, has asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the firm, which is already under investigation by Florida officials for allegedly using uncertified teachers in a Seminole County virtual school.

K12 and rival Connections Learning of Baltimore were the subject of a Maine Sunday Telegram investigation into digital learning policymaking and full-time virtual schools in Maine that was published Sept. 2.

Friday November 02, 2012 | 04:41 PM

Rep. David Johnson, R-Eddington, a one-term lawmaker seeking reelection on Tuesday, issued a statement today urging voters to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box.

In the press release from Protect Marriage Maine, Johnson is quoted as saying his gay brother recently died of cancer and that he still maintains contact with his brother's partner of 25 years.

"I miss my brother and stay in contact with his partner because I love them both and know many other gay couples and love them dearly as well," he said in the statement. "The fact remains that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman, and we have no right to redefine marriage."

Johnson's public stand is interesting for a couple of reasons. Many local legislative candidates have shied away from expressing any opinion on Question 1, particularly those who are opposed to it. But Johnson defeated Democrat Ben Pratt two years ago after Pratt was targeted for his support of the 2009 gay-marriage law.

Friday November 02, 2012 | 09:33 AM

The National Organization for Marriage plans to spend $500,000 this weekend in an effort to reach 10 million people before Tuesday's vote on gay marriage, the group announced today.

The robocalls will go out in Maine, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They are targeting Maine, Maryland and Washington, because that's were voters will decide the fate of three ballot initiatives on gay marriage. They chose Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania because they are presidential swing states.

The calls will be from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

"These calls from leaders in public life will remind voters to go to the polls, to protect marriage, and to support public officials who will do the same," Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a press release. "Along with advertising and other mobilization efforts we have undertaken, which are unprecedented in their scale, we are confident that Election Day 2012 will mark a triumph for marriage and family in the United States."

Wednesday October 31, 2012 | 06:21 PM

Jack Antonoff, the drummer from the pop band fun., met with members of the Maine media this afternoon before the band took the stage at The State theater in Portland for a concert to raise money for Mainers United for Marriage.

The three-man band, which has had two major hits ("We Are Young" and "Some Nights"), have been outspoken proponents for gay rights and gay marriage. All three are straight, but say they want to make a real difference to advance gay rights.

"It's important for us to be really clear on the national level, it's important for us to be in Maine today raising money," Antonoff said during an interview in one of the cramped dressing rooms at the theater. "It's the most important issue of our generation. It's the civil rights issue of our generation. It's painful to exist in a place where Innocent people are treated as second class citizens."

The Halloween night show is the first of a new US tour, which will move on to college campuses after tonight. The band is donating all the proceeds from the Portland show to Mainers United, which is expected to give the Yes on 1 campaign a $25,000 plus boost with just six days to go until the election.