March 13, 2012

Two file for Senate race, Pingree files for House

From staff reports

Three congressional candidates said Monday that they filed enough petition signatures to get on their parties' June 12 primary ballots.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rick Bennett turned in more than 2,700 signatures to the Secretary of State's Office on Monday, his campaign said. Senate candidates must submit at least 2,000 signatures by Thursday to appear on the primary ballot.

Bennett, of Oxford, is a former Maine Senate president and the current chief executive officer for GMI Ratings, a research firm based in Portland.

Bennett is running for the Senate seat that will become vacant once Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe retires.

Scott D'Amboise, of Lisbon Falls, another Republican candidate for the Senate seat, said Monday that he filed enough signatures to get his name on the June 12 Republican primary ballot.

Violet Willis, press secretary for D'Amboise's campaign, said he submitted more than 2,100 signatures to the Secretary of State on Monday afternoon.

In the U.S. House race in Maine's 1st Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree filed enough petition signatures to be on the ballot, her campaign said Monday.

The Secretary of State's Office said Pingree was the first candidate in the 1st District to file signatures. Also expected to file by Thursday's deadline is Republican Jon Courtney of Springvale, Maine's Senate majority leader.

Pingree's campaign said in a release that she submitted petitions containing 1,500 signatures, the most allowed by law. U.S. House candidates must turn in at least 1,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Pingree decided last week not to run for the Senate, after former independent Gov. Angus King Jr. said he would run as an independent.

Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, a frequent Democratic donor who is buying a 5 percent equity stake in MaineToday Media, which owns The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and other media outlets.

Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, who also considered a Senate bid, has filed to run again in the 2nd Congressional District. Republican Kevin Raye of Perry, Maine's Senate president, also has filed signatures to run in the 2nd District, as has Republican Blaine Richardson of Belfast.


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