Brennan looks at running for Allen’s 1st District seat


PORTLAND (AP) – Democratic Rep. Tom Allen hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll challenge Republican Sen. Susan Collins in 2008, but he already has someone from within his party who’s considering running for his seat if he chooses to do so.

Michael Brennan, former Democratic leader in the Maine Senate, announced Thursday that he is forming an exploratory committee to pursue the 1st District Congressional seat.

“If Tom Allen decides to challenge Susan Collins next year, Maine will need a principled, effective and progressive voice to continue representing the First District and help shape the future of Maine and the country,” Brennan, of Portland, said in a statement.

That’s a big “if.” There has been considerable speculation that Allen will challenge Collins, who’s seeking a third time, but there has been nothing definitive from Allen.

“He has said he’s seriously looking at the option of running for the Senate in 2008, but he has no timetable for making a decision,” Mark Sullivan, Allen’s spokesman, said Thursday.

Brennan, a licensed clinical social worker, works in the Muskie School of Public Service and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of New England.

He served in the Maine Senate from 2002 to 2006 and served as majority leader in 2005. Before that, he served in the Maine House from 1992 to 2000, rising to become chairman of the Education Committee from 1998 to 2000.