Politics & Other Mistakes: Maine’s U.S. Senate candidates ranked

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Here’s a list of everybody who might run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, starting with those who have some chance of winning and descending into the sewage-splattered depths.

1 — Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins. She could be kidding about seeking another term, but if not, she’ll have plenty of money and a squishy base of GOP supporters, who long for somebody more consistently conservative.

2 — Adam Cote, failed candidate for Congress and governor. He’s a lackluster campaigner, but as a veteran and nominal moderate (Jared Golden without the charm), Cote is that rare Democrat with a chance to gain traction in rural Maine.

3 — Democratic 1st Congressional District Rep. Chellie Pingree. Can a boring old leftist attract a following in the 2nd District? Maybe, if it’s Bernie Sanders.

4 — Hannah Pingree, daughter of Chellie, former House speaker, current state innovation czar. She inherited that boring gene, but with proper therapy and lots of money, she could manage to lose credibly.

5 — State Rep. Sara Gideon of Freeport, the current House speaker. She’s hard at work seeking donations, but she oversees a raucous Democratic caucus containing enough kooks to tarnish anyone’s reputation.

6 — Daniel Kleban, Democrat and co-owner of the Maine Beer Co. in Freeport. My bias is showing. The deliciousness of his product gained him at least eight places on this list.

7 — Betsy Sweet, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, ex-lobbyist, LGBTQ activist and holder of séances. But she doesn’t seem to be channeling a candidacy.

8 — Democratic state Rep. Seth Berry of Bowdoinham. His specialty is renewable energy issues, which is just as good as specializing in beer. Wait. No, it isn’t.

9 — Mark Eves, another former Democratic House speaker. The ex-gubernatorial candidate hasn’t said a thing about running. I just put him on this list because I can.

10 — Rosa Scarcelli, developer and failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Her background is riddled with intra-family lawsuits, and her husband got caught violating campaign disclosure rules for running an anonymous anti-Eliot Cutler website.

11 — Susan Rice, former Obama national security advisor and nonresident of Maine, although she vacations here in the summer, so she knows our local issues, such as the rising price of lobster rolls.

12 — Emily Cain, former legislator, current executive director of a pro-choice PAC and, as a congressional candidate, the only person ever to lose an election to Bruce Poliquin. Twice.

13 — State Sen. Shenna Bellows, a Democrat who got clobbered by Collins in her last Senate race. No way she’d subject herself to that again.

14 — Cecile Richards, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She doesn’t live here, but her mother or some relative did.

15 — Paul LePage, former Republican governor and another person who doesn’t live in Maine.

16 — Danielle VanHelsing, transgender activist, running as an independent. If she’s related to the VanHelsing who killed Dracula, there goes the vampire vote.

17 — Zak Ringelstein, the Democratic-socialist who ran against U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018, finishing third in a three-way race. He has lived in Maine longer than Susan Rice or Cecile Richards, but just barely.

18 — Some insane GOP right-winger. Is Seth Carey busy?

19 — Cathleen London, a Democrat and doctor reprimanded last year by the state medical board for berating patients if she discovered they were Trump supporters. Also for sloppy record-keeping.

20 — Ethan Strimling, Portland’s Democratic mayor, says he’s not running. But if he wins re-election this November, his ego will convince him he’s been given a mandate to seek higher office.

Add your name to the list by emailing [email protected].

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