Politics

July 3, 2013

Maine Republican Party has shake-up at top

The chairman and the vice chairman quit amid tension within the ranks, and Bruce Poliquin may fill the void.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

Richard Cebra

click image to enlarge

Bruce Poliquin

Brakey said the next chairman must be "someone able to work with all coalitions within the Republican Party to bring people together."

Debra Plowman, a former state senator from Hampden who now is the Maine Republican Party's Penobscot County chair, said she was "shocked" to hear of Cebra's resignation.

Plowman said Cebra was likely overwhelmed by the responsibility of the job and found it difficult to raise money.

"He really went gung-ho and I hope he didn't burn himself out," she said. "Rich went in with his whole heart, and I know how that feels."

Poliquin, a Georgetown resident, has expressed potential interest in the 2nd Congressional District seat, which likely will be vacated by Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, who is raising money to oppose LePage in 2014.

Since losing to LePage in the Republican primary for governor in 2010, Poliquin has been a loyal supporter of LePage, and was a political ally as state treasurer.

Since leaving office when Democrats gained majorities in the Legislature, Poliquin has stayed in the public eye, using his Press Herald blog to echo the perceived merits of LePage's economic policies. He co-hosted a fundraiser Tuesday night for LePage's 2014 campaign, featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Poliquin said Wednesday that he's considering "three or four things," including becoming chairman of the state party and running for the state Senate seat soon to be vacated by Majority Leader Seth Goodall, D-Richmond.

-- Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller contributed to this report.

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

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