A logo on a Max Linn website that was taken down sometime this spring.

Republican Max Linn filed petitions late Friday in an effort to run as an independent to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’s bid for a fifth term in November.

Max Linn File photo

Three Democrats and a second independent are also vying for the right to challenge the longtime senator whose reelection is widely considered one of the tightest contests this year as both parties battle across America to control enough seats to control the Senate.

Linn, a retired Bar Harbor financial planner, submitted an initial batch of signatures from Maine voters that were mostly gathered before the coronavirus pandemic that shut down much of the state. It’s not clear how many more he needs, if any, to qualify for a slot on the November general election ballot.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Monday the paperwork hasn’t been processed yet because there is a waiting period before handling submissions to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Linn, who could not be reached Monday, sought to force a Republican primary in 2018 but lost out when some of the signatures he gathered were thrown out. In that race, independent Sen. Angus King easily won a second term.

Linn had touted himself as the best pick for those who support President Trump.


In Florida, Linn ran as the Reform Party’s candidate for governor in 2006, getting the most attention shortly before the election for landing a small plane in the middle of an interstate highway in Orlando after it suffered engine trouble.

Three Democrats are competing in a July 14 primary for the chance to represent their party against Collins: House Speaker Sara Gideon of Freeport, Saco lawyer Bre Kidman and Hallowell activist Betsy Sweet, a former gubernatorial candidate.

The other independent in the Maine race is Lisa Savage, a Solon educator who had sought to run as a Green but found the logistical hurdles impossible so opted to run as unaffiliated candidate.

One other potential independent contender, Portland lawyer Tiffany Bond, needs more signatures that are tough to come by with most everyone staying home to avoid the risk of disease.

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