AUGUSTA, Maine — More than a month ago, after U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe abruptly announced that she would not seek reelection, many wondered whether she would endorse one of the many Republicans who hope to succeed her.
She gave watchers an early signal by sharing her email voter list to Maine Attorney General William Schneider, one of six Republicans vying for the party’s nomination.
The list is valuable for obvious reasons and Schneider asked to rent it for $150 per 1,000 names. Snowe’s camp agreed, but her campaign manager, Justin Brasell, downplayed the significance.
Brasell said in March that Snowe was interested in helping good candidates get the necessary signatures to get on the ballot and would help others who asked.
But another signal of Snowe’s preference may have come on Friday. In an email sent by the Schneider for Senate campaign, Justin Brasell was listed as the campaign contact.
So, first she loans her donor list to Schneider and now her campaign manager joins his campaign? It sure looks like Snowe is behind Schneider, which would be interesting given that Secretary of State Charlie Summers, the front-runner in the six-way GOP primary, worked for Snowe for more than a decade.
Brasell is a hired gun with no obvious ties to Maine other than Snowe. He has worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee and on the campaigns of Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.