Secretary of State Summers submits signatures for U.S. Senate run

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers submitted the necessary signatures Tuesday to qualify for the November ballot in the U.S. Senate race.

Summers is one of six Republicans eyeing the seat that will be vacated by three-term Sen. Olympia Snowe, who announced recently that should would not seek a fourth term

Summers has strong name recognition, having been Maine’s top election official for the last year and a candidate for the U.S. House in 2008. He lost to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree that year.

Senate Candidates have until Thursday to submit at least 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Republicans Rick Bennett and Scott D’Amboise turned in their signatures on Monday.

Summers has faced questions about whether he, as secretary of state, can process candidate signatures for a race he intends to be in. He said recently that there is nothing in state statute that prohibits him from running for office while serving as a constitutional office. However, he said his deputy, Julie Flynn, will process and sign off on submitted signatures for the Senate race.

Whether Summers will temporarily step down in order to run for Senate remains to be seen.

In a poll conducted earlier this month, Summers led the field of Republican hopefuls with 18 percent support.