Maine Republicans try advertising for volunteers to run as write-in candidates

Part time: 3 possible positions, Bangor registered Republican only. Some travel. $140 per day, if elected.

This recent classified advertisement in the help-wanted pages of the Bangor Daily News bespeaks the concern, if not desperation, of some Maine GOP activists to keep their home a two-party state.

Being sought are potential Republican ''write-in'' candidates for Bangor's state Senate district and two of the city's seats in the state House of Representatives.

The four-line ad, which ran in mid-May, has thus far produced eight responses , says John Bragg, the city GOP chairman. Describing the venture as ''very worthwhile,'' he says it looks as if one or two of those who have come forward will be running. Others, he adds, ''have volunteered to help the party.''

Besides attracting GOP contenders for seats that otherwise would gone to the Democrats by default, the intent of the ad was to ''make people aware of the situation and at least (start them) talking about it,'' Mr. Bragg explains.

The three Bangor seats in question are among 54 for which no Republican had filed nomination papers before the April 1 deadline for the state's June 12 primary. Since then, through the efforts of state GOP chairman Loyall Sewall and party activists, 20 write-in, or sticker, candidacies have been launched. But contenders are still being sought for seven of the 35 Maine Senate seats and 27 of its 151 House seats.

To win nomination by write-in, Senate hopefuls must receive 200 votes. Anyone running for the House needs 50. That's twice the number required had they circulated nomination papers.

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