The battle to replace Republican Senator Olympia Snowe has heated up in Maine after Tuesday’s primary — but the frontrunner has even had to fight in an election yet.
Independent Party member and former Maine Governor Angus King is regarded as the likely candidate to succeed Snowe, but because he is running on a third party ticket, he was able to sit back and watch as six Republicans and four Democrats battle it out Tuesday night primaries.
King would likely be the best candidate to carry on the bi-partisan, moderate banner in Washington, D.C., which Snowe has so famously championed.
Snowe, though a Republican, created a political career as a moderate willing to reach across the aisle, and found herself marooned on a GOP island where it was suddenly heresy to stray from the base.
Snowe’s surprise late February retirement announcement sent candidates scrambling to raise money and mount a feasible campaign, resulting in a muddled field on both sides.
Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers took the GOP primary, winning with 29% of the vote.
State Sen. Cynthia Dill, meanwhile, won the Democratic primary after waging an aggressive campaign against her challengers. She performed especially well in the Portland area.
Still, the winners in Tuesday’s primary will face an uphill battle against King, a popular two-term former governor who remains well-known in Maine.