AUGUSTA – Last week, disqualified U.S. Senate hopeful Max Linn took his campaign to the streets by dotting Maine’s landscape with political signs.
Now, he is turning to the courts – once again – in hopes of legitimizing his candidacy.
On Monday, Linn’s campaign announced that 14 supporters had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court hoping to force Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to count any votes cast for the Republican in the June 12 primary.
According to the campaign, the lawsuit aims to prevent Dunlap from advising Republican primary voters that Linn is not an official candidate in the Senate race and to require his office to record any votes he receives. The only other Republican on the ballot for the Senate seat held by independent Sen. Angus King is state Sen. Eric Brakey.
Linn alleges that Dunlap improperly used “guilt by association” when he invalidated more than 100 valid voter signatures “because they appeared on the same petition form as one or more other signatures as to which evidence of impropriety had been presented.”
That “impropriety,” which resulted in Linn’s falling 10 signatures short of the 2,000 needed to qualify for the June 12 ballot, included signatures of dead voters as well as forgeries, according to Brakey’s campaign.
Both a Maine District Court judge and Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court have upheld Dunlap’s decision.
“The effect of these decisions and the notices will be that the Maine Secretary of State will have selected the Maine Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senate, rather than members of the Republican Party, at a fair and open primary,” Linn’s campaign said in a press release.
“The plaintiffs assert that the threatened conduct of Mr. Dunlap will, if permitted to occur, deprive them of their constitutional rights to express their choice of political candidates, to petition for redress, and to use the American electoral process to effectuate changes in our government,”
State Sen. Eric Brakey, left, and Max Linn.