AUGUSTA (AP) – Recently resigned federal Small Business Administration regional chief Charles Summers of Scarborough has launched a bid for Congress and will be depending on his wife to act as his surrogate after he reports for active duty in the military next month.

A former state legislator and congressional staffer who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, Summers will be spending at least part of the campaign cycle overseas.

A lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, Summers has been recalled and will be stationed in Baghdad attached to a joint command participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom attached to Navy Strategic Communications, according to a statement distributed Monday.

In the statement, Summers announced that he was formally declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination to Maine’s 1st Congressional District seat with the Federal Elections Commission.

Summers said Monday night he will be reporting for active duty on July 6 with orders for up to a year. He said he would be prohibited from campaigning while in that status and that his wife Ruth Summers would be campaigning in his stead.

Summers said a campaign kickoff was likely soon.

“With only two members of Congress, it’s crucial that Maine have strong, experienced representation in Congress. I am eager to put my extensive, real-world experience with small businesses, federal and state government, and the U.S. military to work on behalf of Maine’s hard-working families,” Summers said in his statement.

The southern Maine congressional seat is being vacated by Democrat Tom Allen, a six-term House member who is challenging two-term Republican incumbent Susan Collins for the seat she holds in the U.S. Senate.

Already, several Democrats have come forward in hopes of succeeding Allen, including former legislator and national Common Cause President Chellie Pingree, former legislator Michael Brennan, lawyer Adam Cote, York County District Attorney Mark Lawrence, who is a former state Senate president, and state Sen. Ethan Strimling.

“The next Congress will be especially important to the future of the nation,” Summers said in his statement.

“We need to create jobs by making our economy strong, invest in small businesses, help provide families relief from the increasing burden of health care, and ensure our nation’s security both at home and in the world.

“Maine’s primary election is only one year away, and I look forward to participating in a robust debate about the future direction of our state and nation. I would be deeply honored to represent Maine in Congress,” Summers said.

Summers served as New England regional administrator of the Small Business Administration from 2005 until earlier this month.

Previously, he worked for nine years as a state aide to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe.

Prior to that, he served two terms in the Maine Senate representing Saco, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, and Dayton.

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