Independent close to joining Senate race

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AUGUSTA – He’s got a Web site. He’s been collecting signatures. He’s running radio advertisements.

Peace activist Bill Slavick is all but an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate already.

Reached Monday, Slavick said that he’s planning a formal announcement of his candidacy later this week or early next, and that he’s close to having enough verified signatures to get on the ballot.

“I have over 5,000 signatures,” Slavick said. “We have about 3,600 of those verified. By the end of the day, I should have 4,000 certified. I’m going around to different towns today.”

Independent candidates must submit 4,000 verified signatures to the Secretary of State by June 1 to earn a spot on November’s ballot.

Slavick is the regional coordinator for Pax Christi Maine, a Catholic organization that advocates for peace. He’s also a member of Veterans for Peace.

On his Web site, www.slavickforussenate.com, Slavick says that the war in Iraq prompted his run.

“The Iraq war’s waste, carnage, and destruction project this power and greed onto the world scene – Empire bullying to sustain disproportionate consumption and despoliation – adding to the world’s misery. Harm.

“I run because changing course is critical,” Slavick wrote in April.

Slavick is a retired professor. He has taught at the University of Southern Maine, Notre Dame and Marquette, among others. In 1977, he was a Fulbright lecturer in Germany. He lives in Portland.

Two Democrats, Jean Hay Bright and Eric Mehnert, are seeking the nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Olympia Snowe.

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