STANDISH – David Call, a Republican ammunition salesman from Standish with scant political experience, is set to challenge Bill Diamond in this year’s District 26 state Senate race.

In an interview, Call, whose primary political experience has been his service on a town budget committee, repeatedly referred to Diamond – a Democrat who has served six years in the House, a total of 12 years in the Senate and eight years as secretary of state – as a “career politician.”

“If you want to vote for Bill Diamond, who’s a career politician, then that’s up to you,” Call said. “I think Bill Diamond has spent enough time in Augusta. He should take care of his law firm.”

Call, who operates a mail order, collectible ammunition business, www.ammo-one.com, out of his home, said there should be more businessmen in Augusta.

In response, Diamond, referring to Call as a “gentleman,” said he was not a lawyer, nor a career politician.

“I’m anything but that,” Diamond said. “I’ve started six small businesses in the Windham area. All of them successful. Created hundreds of new jobs. Been an educator, teacher, principal, been superintendent of the schools.”

Ever since state Sen. Gary Plummer, R-Cumberland, who has also served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, dropped out of the Senate District 26 race in early February, local and state Republican officials have had trouble finding a replacement candidate. According to Todd Delaney, Call’s campaign manager, Call offered to run.

“There were a number of conversations,” Delaney said. “David was the only one that I know of who had stepped forward.”

Plummer has said that he would retire from the Senate due to family reasons, an increase in counter-productive partisanship, and the fact that he was no longer having fun in the Legislature, among other reasons. Plummer also said that he would be required to campaign seven days a week in order to defeat Diamond, who held the seat for the previous eight years before being term-limited in 2012.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey of 469 voters commissioned in late September by Diamond’s political action committee, Diamond was found to hold a “commanding” 14-point lead over Plummer.

Despite having initial doubts about Call, Plummer believes he’s a worthy candidate.

“Even after the first time David contacted me via email, I’m thinking, ‘Jeez he has no political experience at all is he going to know what to do?’ All that concern was erased after I talked to him.”

“I had the feeling that he was serious about this, that he’s really going to run,” Plummer added.

Call said he was not intimidated by Diamond’s long string of electoral victories.

“I’m not concerned about being the sacrificial lamb,” he said. “I think Bill Diamond should be concerned. I might give him a good run for his money. I’m not afraid to hit the streets later on in the campaign.”

As far as his political views, Call said he is a conservative who strongly supports Gov. Paul LePage and Second Amendment gun rights, and believes teachers should be paid higher wages and not be forced to teach to federally mandated tests. On ammo-one.com, Call exhorts his customers to join the National Rifle Association.

“It is the duty of all Americans to talk to other Americans about Freedom!” the website reads. “VOTE! or Lose Your Freedom! Anti-Gun is Anti-Freedom!”

Call has a range of views. With discussions in the water-rich area focused on the potential flow of tar-sands oil from Canada through a pipeline that crosses near Sebago Lake, Call said he does not believe that tar sands should flow through the 65-year-old pipeline.

“What about the Portland water supply?” he said. “I’m currently against tar sands. The pipeline couldn’t handle it any way.”

Call drives a hybrid and loves to hunt, fish and hike Mt. Katahdin. Yet he also distinguished himself from the “radical environmentalists” who, he said, accept the notion of man-made climate change.

“I’m not convinced there is a global warming situation,” he said.

Plummer said that Call’s lack of political experience may not be a problem this November.

“I think the fact that he’s a political novice is not going to hurt him, and it may help him that he’s not part of the establishment, and so on,” Plummer said. “I keep hearing from a number of people, ‘Well, we’ve got to throw them all out,’ which, of course, is not possible, but for people who subscribe to that philosophy, David is a perfect candidate.”

David Call


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