Roundup: Apparently, John Frary’s not going to primary Tom Saviello after all

John Frary. BDN file photo by John Clarke Russ

John Frary. BDN file photo by John Clarke Russ

Well, that was short-lived.

I’m not going to get into the play-by-play of how it happened, but John Frary — a retired college professor, boisterous conservative and former GOP nominee for the 2nd Congressional District — will apparently not challenge Maine Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, in Senate District 18.

Frary put his candidacy to bed in a colorful OpEd posted to The Maine Wire — the media arm of the Maine Heritage Policy Center — on Wednesday, just two days after he told this blog and others that he had taken out papers and was collecting signatures in a bid to unseat Saviello because of the senator’s history of supporting Medicaid expansion.

Rumors were rampant in the State House yesterday: There was speculation that Gov. Paul LePage had put Frary up to running against Saviello (a claim Frary denied) and that Saviello would leave the Republican Party rather than face a primary, which the senator himself would neither confirm or deny.

That’s all over now. So sayeth John Frary, the self-proclaimed “Zeus of Franklin County.”

Angus King hires new communications chief

Crystal Canney left her post as Sen. Angus King’s communications director back in December, when she joined Eliot Cutler’s campaign for governor.

On Wednesday, King’s office announced it had hired her replacement, Kathleen Connery Dawe, a veteran message-crafter with years of experience on Capitol Hill, including a five-year stint as the communications director for then-Rep. Rahm Emmanuel.

While Canney was a Maine operative who ran communications for two successful anti-TABOR campaigns and King’s successful bid for U.S. Senate in 2010, Connery Dawe worked with Emanuel while his star was ascendant, culminating with his appointment at President Barack Obama’s chief of staff in 2008 and election as Chicago’s mayor in 2010.

Connery Dawe’s hiring marks a departure point of sorts for King’s office, which has largely relied on Maine-native talent, and even includes some staffers from King’s predecessor, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.