Maine state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin (R) will join the quickly expanding field of candidates vying for retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) seat, a GOP source close to Poliquin told The Hill.
With the filing deadline less than two weeks away, potential candidates from both parties have been rushing to the Maine secretary of state’s office to start the paperwork, but few have fully committed to a run.
“He’s building the team and already collecting signatures,” the source said of Poliquin. “No doubt that he’s the heavy candidate here, as he’s the only one of those who have picked up petitions that can self-fund and give his campaign an immediate boost.”
Poliquin also has connections to Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) and strong support from the Tea Party.
But Poliquin, a former gubernatorial candidate, is also under scrutiny about whether his private business activity interferes with his work as treasurer. The state House of Representatives voted unanimously on Thursday to send the issue to the state’s top court to determine whether Poliquin’s business activities violate a section of the state Constitution that bars the treasurer from engaging in trade or commerce.
Four Democrats, on Republican and an independent had already been in the race before Snowe, a heavy favorite to win reelection, announced Tuesday that she will not seek reelection. A long list of others have publicly expressed interest in the seat in the days since.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Michael Michaud (Maine) said Thursday he had decided against a bid, but Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine) is still considering, has taken out papers and has liberal groups attempting to draft her into the race.