Independent candidate joins race to unseat Poliquin in 2nd Congressional District

Good morning, folks.

It’s been since June that a significant number of lawmakers walked the halls of the State House but with the Senate convening today for some confirmation hearings and other business, the otherwise echoey third floor will be buzzing again with voices and the sound of the bell that tells senators to take their seats and vote.

Few holdups are expected as the Senate votes to confirm 24 gubernatorial appointments, including judges and members of a range of boards and commissions. For all the details, check out my colleague Michael Shepherd’s recent article advancing today’s events. — Christopher Cousins 

Independent announces 2nd congressional district campaign

Mike Turcotte of Bangor. BDN photo by Nick McCrea


Mike Turcotte, an adjunct ethics professor at Eastern Maine Community College, is expected to announce today his candidacy for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which is currently occupied by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Turcotte, who lives in Bangor and has lived in Maine since 2004, is scheduled to make his announcement at 10 a.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Turcotte is known in political circles for his brief involvement in the 2014 race for Republican Susan Collins’ U.S. Senate seat.

Turcotte took aim at first-term Poliquin in a news release on Wednesday.

“As many Mainers have begun to realize the incumbent, Bruce Poliquin, has more interest in representing his own self-interests than those of his constituents he was elected to serve,” said Turcotte. “Instead of blaming others for our problems, my focus will be on improving the 2nd District’s economic vitality.”

Turcotte criticized Poliquin for a pledge he signed earlier this year with the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program, which in exchange for election support requires candidates to sign a contract stating their short-, intermediate- and long-term goals.

Liberal groups have complained about the pledge and said its participants are improperly coordinating their legislative strategies with the NRCC, a charge that Poliquin has brushed aside.

Turcotte won’t be the only candidate with Poliquin in his sights. Democrats Emily Cain of Orono and Joe Baldacci of Bangor are vying for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 general election. In November 2014, Poliquin claimed the seat that became open when Democrat Mike Michaud decided to run (unsuccessfully) for governor. By winning 47 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Cain and conservative independent Blaine Richardson, Poliquin became the first Republican in two decades to represent the 2nd District. — Christopher Cousins 

Reading list

Stephen King’s books vs. his movies

Usually the book is better than the movie. That’s my opinion, with very few exceptions, but I’ve always been kind of a book guy.

The BDN’s Seth Koenig has written an interesting blog about some data crunchers at Reddit who compared ratings of movies originated by Stephen King to ratings of his books.

I’ve read most of King’s books and seen the majority of the movies they inspired. It’s not surprising to see Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, Stand By Me and The Green Mile ranked high, but I’m a little surprised about the middling Dolores Claiborne.

Of course, these ratings could soon be skewed with movie adaptations of King’s “The Dark Tower” series, which has King fans all over the world anticipating the first movie’s scheduled January 2017 release.

There have been rumors in recent days that Matthew McConaughey is considering the role of Walter Padick, who is the nemesis of The Dark Tower’s beloved hero, Roland the Gunslinger. (I tried to name one of my children Roland but my wife wouldn’t let me. True story.)

I might be OK with McConaughey in that role but Hollywood should know that the legions of King fans will be watching closely to see who is chosen to play Roland. If McConaughey were chosen for that role, I wouldn’t be nearly as supportive. — Christopher Cousins


Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

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