Jenkins running as write-in

AUGUSTA — Wearing a city of Auburn jacket, former Mayor John Jenkins on Friday filed his intention to run as an independent, write-in candidate for governor.

Jenkins Facebook page:

John Jenkins for Gov.
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Former Lewiston and Auburn Mayor John Jenkins speaks with Cathy Ranks at the Secretary of State's office in Augusta on Friday after turning in his declaration of candidacy for the gubernatorial race. Jenkins will run as a write-in candidate.

He took out nomination papers at the Secretary of State's Office as a few supporters watched and took pictures.

Jenkins, 58, acknowledged that getting elected without his name on the ballot, without a party and without money would be a tall order.

But, with his ever-present smile, he said Friday that he's seen enough support in recent weeks to convince him to run.

“I was planning on sitting this one out," said Jenkins, who works as a motivational speaker. "I looked at my finances and said no.”

Jeff Benedict, a marketing businessman from Winslow, suggested Jenkins should ask people on Facebook whether they would support him in a run for governor. Last month Jenkins said that if he got 5,000 fans on his page, he'd run.

As of Friday, Jenkins had some 2,700 people on the "Jenkins for governor" Facebook page. Another 2,300 people signed unofficial petitions saying they would support his campaign, Jenkins said.

Supporters have circulated those petitions in communities and at events. On Thursday, Jenkins spoke at a Waterville-area senior citizens club and said he was moved by the level of positive response. On Sunday, he flipped pancakes at the annual Harley-Davidson Toy Run. Many came through and signed their names saying he should run.

“We have notebooks of people's names,” Jenkins said.

With those 5,000-plus names, “I'm hoping I can make a strong enough petition to those sponsoring what debates are left” to allow him to participate with the other gubernatorial candidates.

Jenkins said the campaign hasn't cost anything, so far. "I'm really a nontraditional candidate,” he said. Supporters are contributing what they can. Some are good at building websites; others say they're good at Facebook. “Everybody's contributing,” Jenkins said.

He quoted Benedict, saying the Internet can become “the great equalizer for the little guy.” Because of of the Benedict family's skill, “they gave me a chance to get my message out.”

Jenkins said he's like most Mainers, "struggling to keep my head above water. Policies I put in place would be truly for those middle-income Mainers.”

He chose Friday's date to take out papers for office because it was the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, which set limits on government's power over the people. He said his campaign is “not about money and influence. It's about the people.”

As governor, he said he'd work to lower taxes, limit government spending, limit the time people could be on welfare, and create more affordable health care by promoting healthier lifestyles.

One of his top priorities would be “reminding citizens of Maine who we really are.” Instead of gloom and doom and “looking at what we don't have,” he'd work at “unlocking the potential in every one of us.”

Jenkins attempted to run for governor in 2002 and 2006 but fell short of support.

He has served as mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn, serving two terms in each city. Three years ago, he wasn't running for re-election as Auburn mayor when a tide of write-in votes swept him into office.

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 's picture


If he takes votes away from LePage that would be a good thing, however, otherwise it is selfish of him to do this kind of thing.

 's picture the current the current Secretary of the Treasury in your beloved Obama Administration? You're irrelevant, tron...or haven't you noticed? The tired and worn out drivel regurgitated every election season by you liberals is falling off deaf ears. I am looking forward to Election Day this year more than Christmas. You should put together a resume, tron. You may lose your free ride and have to get a job. As an aside...anyone who can sit there and blog all day on a computer is well able to get a job in data entry or telemarketing.

Jeffrey Benedict's picture

should have followed the process

As told by John Jenkins
As an Independent Candidate, at this point in the process, the only remote option left is a successful write-in campaign (like my last election for Auburn Mayor).

With five successful campaigns under my belt, I understand what it takes to win and more importantly I highly value what it takes to serve and lead.

This type of campaign will be totally financed and generated by the people.

I realize that this campaign and eventual win will have significant reverberations beyond Maine. I experienced a small bit of this national reverberation with our successful Mayoral write-in.

I guess it's like the saying of Coach Walt Slovenski - 'The People's Choice' which has been one my tag lines for every campaign (i.e. John Jenkins for Governor, Maine's Voice-The People's Choice).

This late consideration to run is in large part due to the ever increasing requests I continue to get from every venue (totally unsolicited). Unbeknownst to me, many have enthusiastically watched the results of my services as: Lewiston Mayor, Maine State Senator and Auburn Mayor.
While a slate of candidates are registered to be on the ballot, people are looking for something or someone who has more experience combining business, community and policy.

Now in my own words:
In our many conversations, John expressed that with all he that he has done, he still feels he could do more. I naturally said, “Well if you were governor, you could do what you already do, just bigger, and it would affect everyone in the State of Maine, not just the people of the Lewiston/Auburn area.”

John would always say that “If I was a millionaire, I would be happy to spend every penny I have to get the chance to serve the people of Maine.”
Seeing how John was paid a whopping $4,000 for his first term as the Auburn Mayor, millionaire status has been postponed.

The page was started because every time I go out in public with John, people interrupt our conversation to tell John how much he has helped them. Even when we were in my van, people would pull up next to us at the stoplights and yell from their car to mine and ask “John when are you going to run for governor?”

 's picture

Has the law changed?

I can forgive the Sun Journal for getting all excited about Jenkins' candidacy when he first announced it, back when neither he nor the paper seemed to realize that one has to file as a write-in candidate, and that there is a deadline to do so. In Maine, if the voter writes in a name not printed on the ballot, that vote is simply ignored if the person who has been written in has not officially notified the state that he or she will accept those votes.

But, after all, why bother checking election law on such matters? Jenkins announced a deadline for a decision, based on Facebook love, that was well past the filing deadline, and the Sun Journal dutifully trumpeted the news. Even after I clued-in an editor who'd been tweeting the topic, the Sun Journal went a couple of days and a few stories before mentioning the fact, waiting, in fact, until Jenkins himself had got the memo. Why, after all, tell readers Jenkins clearly had no idea what he was doing.

Actually, I have an idea why, but let's not go there.

Anyway, today we find the Sun Journal still tripping over itself regarding election law. You see, unless that law has changed very recently, one does not take out nomination papers to run as a write-in.

If Washuk, her editor, the copy editor, a proofreader, or a fact checker has applied only a few cells of grey matter to the issue, they'd have soon seen its inherent illogic. Even without checking Maine election law, someone at the Sun Journal should have said, "Hey, wait, that does't make any sense." The purpose of collecting signatures is to show the minimum public support required to have one's name printed on the ballot. Why collect signatures that can only be verified and notarized after the deadline for one to proclaim, "Hey, I know it's too late to print my name on the ballot, but if anybody should write in my name, please don't throw that vote out."

You see, Jenkins did not take out nomination papers. He simply collected a form, which he must sign and have notarized, saying he wants any votes for him to be counted.

So, assuming Jenkins returns the form by the deadline, votes for him will be tallied. Of course, anyone who does vote for Jenkins is throwing away his or her vote just as effectively as if the man never ran at all.

Jenkins has to know he hasn't a prayer of winning. The real question should be, why is he bothering? No, I take that back, the real question should be, which of the other candidates is hurt most by any votes cast in L/A for Jenkins?

Let's do the math: Most, if not all, votes cast for Jenkins will come from L/A. This area has a very large percentage of Franco voters. There seems to be a perception, real or imagined, that Franco voters might go all-in for LePage. The question of his wife's residency notwithstanding, Mr. LePage is from Waterville. Isn't the fella cited as the spark in Jenkins' electoral ambitions from the Waterville/Winslow area?

I would ask if this person, a Republican, has had any negative relations with Paul LePage. I'd ask if he, or Jenkins, or any of Jenkins' entourage, have taken meetings with anybody from the Mitchell or Cutler camps. I'm not saying there is a conspiracy at work here, I'm just saying there are questions that need to be asked. Chief among these questions is, who benefits from a John Jenkins candidacy?

Answer: It's not John Jenkins.

Jeffrey Benedict's picture

Because you asked?

I am not sure why you think no one looked at the election law. In fact on the State website it showed the the candidate should declare by the Friday before the election. On August 11th the state web site was updated with the NEW law stating the a candidate must declare 45 days before the election.
I personal take responsibility for not checking the state website daily after the first of August. I personal sent John Jenkins the information off the state website prior to the eleventh of August and if he was miss informed that was entirely my fault.

There was no effort to collect signatures: People started collecting signatures on their own because they had friend and supporters who don't have Facebook. These signatures are not legally binding in any way nor were they required to become a write candidate.

As far as throwing away a vote: Far to many good people have laid down there lives to ensure that the people of the United States have a right to vote. to think even one of those votes is wasted does a disservice to the good people who have and now currently serve this great country. The only wasted vote is the one someone is allowed and they choose not to use.

What legal or factual information are you using to determine that John Jenkins doesn't have a prayer? Seeing how you mentioned that he does not have a prayer am I to assume that you have a direct line to God and you are his spokesman here on earth?

Negative relations with the republican candidate: I have not had relations with said candidate. No John or myself have not had a meeting with the other campiagns. Not one!

Who benefits? Your right it's not John Jenkins it's THE PEOPLE OF MAINE:

Yes I am from Winslow: This is not about me but if you would like to make it about me call me on November 4th, I will tell you all about me then.

You seem to want to elect a man who doesn't even own property in the state of Maine I would rather elect someone who has some skin in the game. Not someone who is going to move to Florida as soon as there term is over.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No one gets elected without

No one gets elected without numerous votes from Augusta north. Does Jenkins and his minions really believe that Pete and Theresa Fortier in Lubec or Fort Kent are going to write his name on the ballot? John Jenkins, will all due credit to his achievements, is a Lewiston/Auburn fantasy. No more; no less.

Jeffrey Benedict's picture

Up north

You do realize that John Jenkins has spoken in every (yes every school) school in the state of Maine?

People my not remember John Jenkins but they will always remember the Karate Man.

Jeffrey Benedict's picture

Where do you get your facts??

This is the first ever post on the Draft John Jenkins FB page.
Dear Friends,
I sincerely appreciate the ever-increasing requests to allow my name to be submitted as a write-in candidate as an Independent for Maine Governor. Even with successful experience as Lewiston Mayor, Maine State Senator, and Auburn Mayor, I remain a regular working class citizen who, like most Mainers, has to work two or more jobs to keep afloat.
This endeavor will be a daunting task at which I’m prepared to succeed; to do so will require a true mandate from The People. To this end, we need to register 5,000 Facebook fans of John Jenkins in 45 days, starting Monday, August 30, 2010, and ending Wednesday, October 13, 2010. This feat will certainly reflect The Will of The People.
Success as a write-in candidate is not impossible. Many of you know of our successful historic Auburn Mayoral election where, as a write-in candidate, I received more votes than the combined total of the other candidates. The People spoke, and history was made. With your help, and that of those you know, we can do it again.
Details of my principles and policies will be forthcoming.
Thank you and I look forward to your responses.
Yours In Serving The Public,

The Honorable John Jenkins
I am not sure where your facts fit in to that I do not know?

Also If you think the only people who should run are the people with all the cash then you missed the whole point of the United states of America. The only reason there will be a large expense with the write-in count is because the money boys and lawyers for the parties will question each and every vote over and over adding to the cost.

If the only reason you can come up with not to vote for a write-in is the cost then you have a very week argument because they don't have to count every vote they only need to look at the ones the computer notates as a write-in box being checked.

 's picture

The real issue

It's funny that you think a vote for Jenkins hurts Mitchell, while I suspect they'll be votes that might have otherwise been cast for LePage. Maybe we're both right, which helps Cutler. Either way, between us we've stumbled onto what's really at stake. Jenkins himself, as a candidate, is irrelevant.

Marjorie Grover's picture

John Jenkins

John would make the best governor for Maine and he will get my vote. I do not have money to help him with the campaign because I am elderly living on a small social security check each month with barely enough to pay rent and other essentials. He did alot for Lewiston and Auburn and can do a great job for Maine as governor. So lets get on the band wagon and put him in as Governor. Good Luck John my friend

John Moore's picture

More info on John Jenkins

J enkins for governor

what a joke he+ this campaign is!


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