D.C. wannabes

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 26, 2007

t_allen

TOM ALLEN
D-Portland | tomallen.org | tomallen.house.gov
Portland city councilor, 1989-95 | Portland mayor 1991-92 | elected to US House in 1996 | Current committees: Energy & Commerce, and Budget
Allen, who traveled to Iraq earlier this year, is running as an anti-war, anti-Bush candidate seeking change in DC, and accuses his opponent, Susan Collins, of being too aligned with the “Bushie” camp. National Democrats are pinning their hopes on Allen to unseat an entrenched Republican. (This summer, MoveOn.org raised $250,000 for him just before everyone’s least-favorite “Democrat,” Joe Lieberman, came to Maine to campaign for Collins.) An Allen victory will depend on continuing public disenchantment with Bush and the GOP, but poll numbers show him trailing big-time (a Research 2000 poll in October showed Collins with a 56-33 percent lead among likely voters). Plus, some liberals don’t think he’s pushed hard enough for Bush/Cheney impeachment, and they say they won’t vote for him because of it — although with no third-party candidate in the race yet, their only viable alternative is not to vote at all.

s_collins

SUSAN COLLINS
R-Bangor | SusanCollins.com | Collins.senate.gov
Chair of the Maine Commission on Financial Regulation, 1987-1992 | New England director of the US Small Business Administration, 1992-93 | lost gubernatorial race to Angus King in 1994 | elected to US Senate in 1996 | ranking Republican on the Committee for Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs | also on the Armed Services Committee and the Special Committee on Aging

Collins, seeking her third term, is criticized by some Mainers who recall her 1996 pledge to serve just two terms; Collins replies that she did not previously understand the advantages to seniority in the Senate. (Also, she has a shot at being Maine’s senior senator; Senator Olympia Snowe is widely expected to retire when her term expires in 2012.) Collins is frequently painted as a centrist Republican, but the Washington Post in September calculated that she votes with the Republican leadership 66.7 percent of the time, making her slightly more conservative than Snowe, who votes with GOP leaders 62.5 percent of the time. She voted against habeas corpus rights for terrorism suspects in September; she also voted against President Bush’s troop surge in February. Generally, she has supported the administration’s efforts in Iraq.

2nd Congressional District

j_frary

JOHN FRARY
R-East Millinocket | no Web site
Frary, a Farmington native, announced his candidacy in November. He is a hardcore Republican who, at the very least, is pretty entertaining (see “Meanest of Times,” by Al Diamon, November 9). “John will be an able advocate for freedom and limited government and against the nanny state and the MoveOn.org crowd that the incumbent has embraced,” conservative University of Maine at Machias professor Jon Reisman says in a Maine Republican Party press release.

mmichaud

MICHAEL MICHAUD
D-East Millinocket | MichaudforCongress.comMichaud.house.gov
This fall, Phoenix contributor Al Diamon pointed out the dearth of Republican candidates lining up to challenge District 2 incumbent Michaud, a former millworker who has also served in the Maine House and Senate. Michaud, who took office in January 2003, is a member of the US House committees on Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Small Business; he also advocates for lower prescription-drug prices. Michaud defeated 2006 challenger Laurence S. D’Amboise by a large margin. Initially, no one seemed eager to take the beating this time around; but John Frary has signed up as a challenger. Michaud’s camp is merely hoping for as little excitement this election season as possible.

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