LEWISTON — U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe is campaigning in Maine for her former longtime aide, Kevin Raye, in his bid for Congress.

Raye is running as the Republican candidate against five-term incumbent Democrat Mike Michaud for the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

“He is a consensus builder,” Snowe said of Raye during a lunchtime stop at Simones’ Hot Dog Stand in downtown Lewiston. “He has already demonstrated that in his capacity as president of the Maine Senate.”

Snowe made the rounds shaking hands with diners with Raye in tow. Raye took the opportunity to hand out campaign fliers and listen directly to voters.

Raye made a point to rebut a negative television ad being run by his opponent that paints him as a spendthrift with taxpayers’ money. The ad claims Raye remodeled a kitchen and lounge at the Statehouse for Senate Republicans.

The television spot includes a photo of a kitchen, but it’s not the kitchen in question. The photo shows a sleek and modern kitchen and bar but the actual room includes a small sink, counter and mini-fridge.

The ad claims Raye spent $22,000 on the remodeling but much of that was fixing pre-existing electrical issues that were not up to code and would have had to been fixed regardless.

Dan Cashman, Michaud’s spokesman, said the issue is the cost not the photo. He said he has invoices that verify how much was spent.

“I’m focused on jobs and the economy, and he wants to talk about kitchens,” Raye said.

Raye worked for Snowe for 17 years, including more than six years as her chief of staff in Washington.

Snowe said she was campaigning with Raye because she witnessed his work ethic and political philosophies firsthand when he worked for her in Washington.

“He appreciates the necessity of bipartisanship,” she said. “And that is to say bipartisanship not as a political theory but as a political necessity for the best interests of people that he is serving and for the best interests of the nation — he understands that.”

Snowe, who is not running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, was campaigning with Raye on Monday.

They spent time in Auburn and Lewiston in the morning. Then made stops in Bangor in the afternoon.

The day ended with a fundraising reception for Raye that also paid tribute to Snowe’s 34 years in the U.S. House and Senate.

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