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Maine U.S. Senate Candidate Challenges Primary Opponent's Qualification For Ballot

A.J. Higgins
Maine Public/file
State Sen. Eric Brakey at a State House news event in 2015.

The campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey is challenging whether his Maine primary opponent has qualified for the ballot.

Brakey, a state senator from Auburn, filed an official protest Thursday with Maine election officials against Bar Harbor Republican Max Linn, citing an array of irregularities with Linn's ballot petitions. Brakey's campaign asserts that it found petitions that were signed by people who are deceased, duplicates and inconsistencies with signatures by a notary.

Linn's campaign submitted more than the 2,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot last week.

The Maine Secretary of State initially delayed certifying Linn's candidacy, but announced Friday that he had made the ballot.

Maine election law allows campaigns or a single voter to challenge the validity of petitions within five business days of the submission deadline. State election officials will review the Brakey campaign's challenge before scheduling a hearing.

Linn’s campaign issued a statement in which he didn’t specifically address the allegations, but took a swipe at Brakey’s political director David Boyer, who submitted the petition challenge Thursday. Boyer played a key role in the ballot campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.

“While I can appreciate a good prank from a registered lobbyist for legal weed, eventually all good pranks must come to an end. The sooner the good work done by the both the diligent municipal clerks of Maine and the Secretary of State’s Office is once again validated, the better. It is going to take more than pranks to win in November, and I look forward to talking about my 'Maine Now!' agenda: trade, immigration, infrastructure, and a strong military.”

Brakey, who came into Maine politics as a libertarian, and Linn, who touts President Trump's policies, are both attempting to unseat independent U.S. Sen. Angus King.