Your Vote 2018

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Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Campaign ads are finally filling the airwaves, especially in the top-of-the-ticket primaries for governor, Congress and Maine's 2nd District.  Brenda Garrand and Sam Surprise are back to comment on what they see and hear.  Garrand is the owner of Garrand Mohlenkamp, Surprise runs Surprise Advertising. Garrand is also on Maine Public's board of trustees.  They gathered in our Portland studios with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

With the filing deadline of June 1, it’s not clear whether a record number of Maine independents will qualify to seek office this year. But many of them feel they have an advantage, even though they have to work harder to get elected.

By their very nature, independents are a diverse group ranging in philosophy from more conservative to strongly progressive. And they face several obstacles in getting elected over party nominees.

(ExplainMaine: Why is Maine so Politically Independent?)

Maine's Department of the Secretary of State

A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday in yet another case involving Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law.

Independent candidates for governor, Congress and the Legislature were at the State House in Augusta Monday to compare notes on running as independents.

Several candidates pointed out that while they are all unenrolled, they don’t all agree on issues. But state Rep. Kent Ackley of Monmouth, who is seeking re-election, says they do share an overarching belief.

“One of the things the independents all agree on is that we should keep talking. And that is what is missing from Augusta,” he says.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

The seven Democratic candidates vying to replace Gov. Paul LePage next year made their case Saturday to the party faithful during a heavily attended Democratic state convention.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Maine Democrats are in Lewiston this weekend for a state convention that the party hopes will energize activists for the upcoming elections. 

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Eleven candidates are vying for the major party gubernatorial nominations. Four more are running for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. But those numbers have yet to lead to saturation broadcast advertising.

“Morning Edition” host Irwin Gratz talks with Sam Surprise of Surprise Advertising and Brenda Garrand, a founder of Garrand Mohlenkamp. Both have years of experience in crafting political advertising and devising ad strategies.

For disclosure, Brenda Garrand is a board member of Maine Public.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Maine voters in next month’s state primary will be the first to use ranked-choice voting for state elections. Election experts say many voters don’t understand how the system works, but they’re hopeful voter education programs now running can help clear up any confusion.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is going to host a series of informational meetings on the new voting system that will be used for the first time in June primaries.

Dunlap will hold four sessions starting on Monday in Biddeford. Then meetings will follow on May 15 in Bangor, May 21 in Presque Isle and May 29 in Lewiston.

He will also offer a question-and-answer session via Facebook Live on May 24.

Voters in Waterville will decide June 12 whether or not to recall Republican Mayor Nick Isgro. Isgro has come under fire for a history of inflammatory social media posts- but it was an insulting tweet to a Parkland school shooting survivor that triggered critics into launching a recall petition.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has reaffirmed a lower court’s decision that invalidated the candidacy of Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Max Linn.

Linn, a financial planner who lives in Bar Harbor, had appealed a ruling by Kennebec Superior Court Judge William Stokes, who found that the secretary of state acted appropriately when he invalidated a number of signature petitions submitted by Linn’s campaign.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawyers for the state and for the Maine Republican Party will argue later this month on whether the GOP will have to use ranked choice voting in the June primary.
 
The state Supreme Court already allowed the system to move forward but the new lawsuit is in federal court. Arguments are scheduled for May 23.
 
The lawsuit against Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap seeks an injunction to prevent the use of ranked choice voting to decide Republican winners on June 12.
 

Steve Mistler / Maine Public/file

Democratic congressional candidate Jared Golden says rival candidate Lucas St. Clair should tell the secretive group running ads on his behalf to disclose its donors.

St. Clair's campaign has said it doesn't know who's behind the Maine Outdoor Alliance, which has booked over $300,000 of television ad time to run spots that feature St. Clair's work to create the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument.

But Golden says St. Clair can persuade the group to reveal its funders because incorporation documents show the group is run by the best man at his wedding.

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