Angus King has won the Maine Senate race, signaling a party change in the state and an additional Independent Senator in office. The election was called by CNN at 5:19 pm Pacific.
Maine offered an interesting race as 6 candidates were running for Senator Olympia Snowe’s open seat. The top three candidates to watch in the election were former governor and Independent candidate Angus King, Democratic Senator Cynthia Dill, and Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers.
Angus King ran his campaign with the message that the Senate is broken and that more Independents are needed to offset partisanship. Charlie Summers, who worked with Senator Snowe has made cutting spending and reducing the national debt his top priorities. Cynthia Dill, while agreeing with most of the Obama policies, has highlighted the need for more diversity in the US Senate, including more women.
The Pine State’s Senate race has been interesting to follow as its voters tend to be more accepting of third party and independent candidates than most other states. Indeed, former governor Angus King’s popularity, especially among Democratic voters, has given him up to a 2 digit lead against Republican candidate Charlie Summers. However, after both parties released a number of attack ads against Angus King in October, his lead, according to some polls, had been reduced to 1 digit. However King still remained the favorite for the race in most polls.
Angus King, 68, was the governor of Maine from 1995 to 2003. Before that, King made a fortune with the creation of an energy company, Northeast Energy Management, and was a TV show host for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for 18 years. He is the co-founder of Independent Wind, a wind power company.
Charlie Summers, 53, is the current Maine Secretary of State. Summers, a native of Illinois, he raised his children as a single father, after his wife died unexpectedly in a car crash, and fought to make the ends meet. Before becoming the Secretary of State, he had many different occupations, including being a small business owner, a navy reservist, and served in a number of elected and appointed positions. Most recently he was regional administrator for the Small Business Administration.
Cynthia Dill, 47, is a current Maine State Senator. She was previously on the town council of Cape Elisabeth from 2004 to 2006 before being elected as a member of the Maine House of Representative in 2006. She was elected to Maine Senate in 2011 before winning the Democratic Senate primary. Ms. Dill is also a civil rights attorney.