Enviro groups enter Maine Senate race with ad buy

“Whether it was his fight as Governor to protect clean air or his investments as an entrepreneur in Maine’s clean energy economy, Angus King is committed to creating new jobs and keeping Maine’s families safe from toxic pollution,” Cathy Duvall, director of public advocacy and partnerships with the Sierra Club, said in a Thursday statement.

The spot will run in the Portland market beginning Thursday and end on Oct. 24. It is scheduled to run on broadcast and cable TV, Trey Pollard, a spokesman with the Sierra Club, told The Hill.

Though both groups have endorsed King, it is the first time either has spent money in the race for retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) seat. They declined to say exactly how much the ad buy cost.

Drew Brandewie, a spokesman with the Summers campaign, called King’s environmental and energy record “anything but clean.” He also said Summers’s economic positions are more aligned with Maine voters.

“The more Charlie meets with working people across Maine the more they realize that a small businessman who shares their principles and priorities is the best person to cut spending, keep taxes low, and balance budgets in Washington,” Brandewie said in an email.

Most polls show King firmly ahead, followed by Summers and then Democrat Cynthia Dill. RealClearPolitics, which aggregates polling data, gives King a 15-percentage-point lead over Summers.

LCV is aware of King’s lead, but thought it was worth throwing support behind a candidate who advocates for issues the group promotes, Jeff Gohringer, a spokesman with LCV, told The Hill.

“The polling is what it is, but we don't believe in taking anything for granted. Never should in politics,” Gohringer said in an email.

LCV had been watching the race closely as it decides how to spend its war chest before the Nov. 6 election. On Monday, the group said it had spent $8 million in the 2012 election cycle.

Gohringer said LCV has not yet determined whether to wade into more races.