While most people were picking out green outfits, drinking lots of beer or otherwise wasting time on St. Patrick’s Day, one select group of folks were bracing for potential fame and fortune as hopeful members of the 2015 Maine Legislature.
The deadline for wannabe state representatives and state senators came and went at 5 p.m. on March 17.
Given the impacts of last year’s legislative redistricting and Maine’s term limits law, voters will be faced with a healthy crop of fresh faces.
But you can always count on a few perennial candidates: those who think the next campaign will be the magic campaign, the Wonka Golden ticket that will admit them into the strata of being really important and somewhat relevant. Such is the case in Biddeford, where Perry Aberle — undaunted by two consecutive and somewhat epic campaign failures — has once again tossed his hat into the ring seeking to capture a legislative seat that eluded him two years ago by a hefty margin.
Now that he has tossed his hat into the ring again, hopefully, someone will toss him back a working razor.
Aberle won his last election nearly two decades ago, when he was still in high school and was elected to serve one term on the Biddeford City Council. Since then, his campaign skills have deteriorated.
He ran for the state legislature two years ago and was crushed by incumbent Paulette Beaudoin, the proverbial little old lady who cleaned Aberele’s clock by garnering nearly 64 percent of the vote (2,585-1,471).
A year later, Aberle brushed himself off and decided to challenge Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant. Despite a much larger pool of voters in a city-wide election for mayor, Aberle’s vote total shrunk by more than half, and he finished a distant third in a three-way race that also included former mayor Joanne Twomey. Casavant easily won re-election with 2,377 votes, compared to 720 for Aberle.
Today, Aberle is again running as a Republican for the Maine House of Representatives in District 12, which includes the central and downtown portions of the city. He will face Biddeford businessman Martin Grohman, a Democrat, in the general election.
Will the the third try be the charm for Aberle? Don’t bank on it, would be my advice.
Over in District 11, which includes western portions of the city, Democrats Ryan Fecteau and David Flood will duke it out for their party’s nomination. The winner of that contest will face political newcomer Debi Davis, a Republican, in the November general election.
In the District 32 State Senate race, Democrat David Dutremble will once again bank on his family’s political legacy and last name recogntion to hold onto his seat for another term. Dutremble will once again be challenged by Arundel businessman James Booth who ran for the seat two years ago as an Independent. This time, Booth is running as a Republican. Anything is possible, but Booth is facing an uphill battle in a district that historically favors Democrats.