Senior GOP Legislators, Campaign Officials Back Independent Candidate Over Republican
BIDDEFORD -- A massive group of senior Maine Republican elected and campaign officials today announced their endorsement of Independent Marty Grohman over the nominee of their own party in the campaign for Maine’s First Congressional District seat.
The 26 person-strong list includes a broad ideological swath of current and former Republican state legislators, presidential campaign directors, legislative leaders, and party officials. Full list below.
Ben Gilman, Maine Director of the 2008 John McCain for President campaign and former Maine Republican Party and Sen. Olympia Snowe staffer, said, "Marty Grohman has a strong record of fighting for all Mainers. From his extensive work with the veterans community to his tireless efforts to stop the out-of-control opioid epidemic, Marty has shown he has the judgment, work ethic, and dedication to making things better that will be a breath of fresh air in Congress."
Christie-Lee McNally, campaign manager for President Trump’s campaign in Maine and former Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party, said, "One thing is clear: Marty Grohman is the candidate who can beat Chellie Pingree. He is a businessman, a leader, and a tenacious campaigner whose positions reflect the district. He will be our next congressman."
The Republican endorsements follow remarks by Governor Paul LePage supporting Marty’s bid for the seat. In a June speech in Portland, LePage said that Grohman "deserved to be in Congress" because "he is what Maine needs. He's a good man. He's doing it for the right reasons." (Click here to watch the video of LePage's remarks.) LePage is the second Republican governor to support Grohman's campaign, joining Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a graduate of Gould Academy in Maine.
It is very uncommon for senior elected officials and party dignitaries to break with their party to support an independent candidate. Grohman's growing support among prominent Republicans and Democrats indicates increasing momentum as the Fall campaign begins in earnest. The District 1 Congressional race will be among the first in the nation to be decided by Ranked Choice Voting, a structure that levels the playing field for independents, who represent the largest block of voters in Maine.
Grohman expressed his thanks. “I deeply appreciate the support of this distinguished group of Republican leaders. These are true public servants who have spent the last several decades working to make Maine a better place. I am honored to have their endorsements, and so proud of the many people from all sides of the aisle who have joined my effort to put aside the partisanship and work toward real solutions."
As an Independent legislator, Marty has had great success working with both sides of the aisle. He’s been ranked the most bipartisan member of the legislature, as well as “Legislator of the Year” by both the Maine Retail Association and the American Legion. He received the President’s Award from the Maine Sheriffs Association, and was named an honorary life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Endorsements released today include:
2008 John McCain for President State Director and Sen. Olympia Snowe staffer Ben Gilman
2016 Donald Trump for President State Director and GOP Executive Director Christie-Lee McNally
Former Republican Activist Sharon Miller
Former Republican Party Chair, State Representative, and House Minority Leader Joe Bruno
Former Republican Party Chair Mark Ellis
Former Republican Party Executive Director and District 1 Congressional candidate Tony Payne
Former District 1 Congressional candidate Ande Smith
Conservative Radio Host and Activist Ray Richardson
Former gubernatorial candidate Les Otten
Former Chief Counsel to Gov. Paul Lepage and Susan Collins staffer Avery Day
Hallowell Mayor Mark Walker
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Amy Volk
Sen. Brian Langley
Sen. Tom Saviello
Sen. David Woodsome
Rep. Don Marean
Rep. Nate Wadsworth
Rep. Jon Kinney
Rep. Karl Ward
Rep. Karen Gerrish
Rep. Karen Vachon
Former Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mary Small
Former Senator, Representative, Senate Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Pam Cahill
Former Senator Linda Baker
Former Representative Kerri Bickford
Former Representative Meredith Strang Burgess
For more information, visit MartyGrohman.com.