Raye makes 3rd run for 2nd Congressional District official

Former Senate President and two-time candidate for Congress Kevin Raye followed up statements that he might try another run for the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday when he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to make his candidacy for the 2nd Congressional Seat official.

Raye. who lives in the town of Perry in Washington County, served for eight years in the Maine Senate after a long run working for former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, including serving as her chief of staff. He touted his “broad appeal” among the Maine electorate, which he said will help him win the election next November. Though Raye was known as a collaborator during his time in the Senate, he made it clear that he’ll spend his time in Washington working against the Obama administration:

“Washington is broken, and we need to fix it to put America on a path to long-term prosperity. The reckless decision to ram through the flawed ObamaCare law in a crassly partisan way left Washington paralyzed and pushed jobs and the economy to a back burner. The president’s muddled approach to Syria threatens to embroil us in a conflict with unknown consequences. It’s time to stop the bickering, stop the heavy-handed federal overreach, focus on jobs and pass a balanced budget amendment to ensure fiscal responsibility.As a small business owner, I know what it is to produce a quality Maine product and meet a payroll every week in tough times. As Senate President, I led with civility and worked across party lines to win bipartisan enactment of the largest tax cut in Maine history, $1.7 billion in debt reduction, welfare reform and regulatory reform to encourage job creation. And from my years as Chief of Staff to Senator Snowe, I know Capitol Hill.”

Some Republicans have said, off the record, that Raye’s two unsuccessful runs against Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, who is leaving the 2nd Congressional Seat vacant to run for governor, put a cloud over his candidacy. Raye disagrees and said his strong showing in 2002, when he received 48 percent of the vote, and in 2012, when he garnered more than 137,000 votes, both of which he said broke records for GOP candidates, amount to experiences that make him well-known to Maine people.

“I enter this open-seat race as a stronger and better-known candidate with a proven record and a strong base of support,” said Raye.

The rest of the field for the 2nd Congressional Seat is still taking shape. Former State Sen. Richard Rosen of Bucksport, who like Raye is known for his collaborative nature, said late last month that he also intends to pursue the seat. Another high-profile Republican, former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin of Georgetown, is also a candidate and is regarded as a staunch fiscal conservative. Blaine Richardson, who lost the 2012 2nd District GOP primary to Raye, also plans to run.

On the Democratic side, Sens. Emily Cain of Orono and Troy Jackson of Allagash have both made their campaigns official.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.