A super PAC started by GOP strategist Karl Rove is pumping more than $300,000 into the Maine Senate race with ads targeting Independent frontrunner Angus King.
King, 68, is favored in the three-way race to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican. The GOP fears the former two-term governor will caucus with the Democrats, although he has not said he will.
Maine’s four electoral votes went to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and the state’s Republicans — like Snowe and fellow Sen. Susan Collins — tend to be more centrist than conservative.
King is pitted against Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill, 47, and Republican Charlie Summers, 52, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who currently serves as Maine’s secretary of state.
|Republican Charlie Summers
Crossroads GPS got into the fray Tuesday with an ad targeting King’s eight-year tenure of governor, which lasted from 1995-2003. The ad says King managed to turn a $60 million budget surplus into a nearly $1 billion shortfall.
“Angus King, or King Angus?” a female narrator asks in the spot.
King spokeswoman Crystal Canney said the ad was aimed at helping Summers. “They must be afraid of Angus, because no one owns his vote,” she told The Associated Press.
Summers has also benefited from an anti-King an run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which accused the former governor of raising taxes and increasing state spending during his tenure.
He needs the support. King has the monetary advantage, having raised $2.1 million compared to just $294,000 for Summers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The candidate who’s really left out in the cold is Dill. The civil rights attorney has raised only $104,000 and she has not received the endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
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