MAINE, USA — Super Tuesday is quickly approaching, and the Democratic presidential race is heating up—the debate in Las Vegas this week was proof of that. Candidates will fight to win primaries—and important delegates—in 15 jurisdictions, including Maine, on March 3. Endorsements from party and local leaders in the community are powerful showings of support and help influence how voters view candidates. Here’s how the candidates’ public support with Mainers is going so far.
The former South Bend, Ind. Mayor, who narrowly won the Iowa caucus—though Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have requested a recount—and almost edged out Sanders in the New Hampshire primary, dropped out of the presidential race on Sunday, March 1. Before dropping out, he had picked up several Maine endorsements ahead of Super Tuesday.
Maine State Reps. Andrew McLean and Tiffany Roberts announced they are backing Buttigieg for president. State Treasurer Henry Beck and State Rep. Lois Reckitt, who have also endorsed him, will serve as Maine co-chairs for the campaign. Beck and Rep. McLean will join the Buttigieg campaign at a canvass launch in Portland on Sunday at Rivalries Restaurant.
The Pete for America campaign released the following statement about the endorsements:
"Momentum is growing in Maine behind Pete's vision for the country with a groundswell of support from elected officials and hundreds of active grassroots volunteers across the state. Pete knows from his experience as Mayor of South Bend and serving our country overseas that there is another way forward besides burning down the system and the status quo. Mainers are ready for a president that actually brings the country together to tackle our greatest challenges on issues like bringing down health care costs and building an economy that actually works for all Americans."
Earlier this month, Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren picked up 19 endorsements from current and former elected officials from Maine. The most notable endorsements include Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby, former Senate President Beth Edmonds, Sen. Rebecca Millett, and Rep. Ryan Fecteau.
Warren’s Maine endorsements: Dan Ankeles, Town Council, Brunswick; Rep. Christopher Babbidge, District 8; Sen. Brownie Carson, District 24; Rep. Janice Cooper, District 47; Rep. Drew Gattine, District 34; Ben Grant, Former Maine Democratic Party Chairman; Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick, District 9; Rep. Thom Harnett, District 83; April Humphrey, City Council, Yarmouth; Sen. Majority Leader Nate Libby, District 21; Rep. Colleen Madigan, District 110; Rep. Ann Matlack, District 92; Laurie Osher, Town Council, Orono; Rep. Anne Perry, District 140; Sen. Linda Sanborn, District 30; and Rep. Ryan Tipping, District 123.
Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to qualify for the Maine primary. He is coming off a primary win in New Hampshire, a huge win in the Nevada caucuses wtih 46.8% of the vote, and holds a double-digit lead in national polls.
Sanders recently released his Maine co-chairs, which includes Phish co-founder Jonathan Fishman, and State Senate President Troy Jackson. The other Maine co-chairs are: Safiya Khalid, Lewiston City Councilor; Briar Lyons, owner of Lincolnville General Store & Elderflower Farm; and Rachel Talbot Ross, State Rep (District 40).
State Sen. Justin Chenette of Saco endorsed Sanders in January.
The former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has been surging in national polls and continues to pour money into ads and staff increases across Super Tuesday states, including Maine. According to the Associated Press, the Bloomberg campaign has spent $409 million of his personal fortune so far in the race. Bloomberg recently opened a campaign office in Bangor, following office openings in Scarborough and Lewiston.
Bloomberg’s biggest Maine endorsement so far has been former Congressman Mike Michaud. Michaud is the former Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration.
“In 2020, we need a candidate who can do one thing — beat Donald Trump. Mike Bloomberg is that candidate,” Michaud said in a statement.
Bloomberg announced four new Maine endorsements on Friday, bringing his total to 13: former State Rep. Edward Kane, former Deputy Undersecretary of Homeland Security Chet Lunner, former Sergeant-at-Arms U.S. Senate Larry Benoit, and State Rep. Shawn Babine.
Former Maine Congressman Tom Allen endorsed Bloomberg on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Other Bloomberg endorsements from Maine are: Major General John “Bill” Libby, Former Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; former State Sen. Linda Valentino; Kay Rand, former chief of staff to Sen. Angus King; State Rep. Cathy Nadeau; State Rep. Stephen Stanley; former Saco Mayor Sam Zatilin; and former Portland Mayor George Campbell.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s strategy has been clear since a disappointing showing in Iowa. He left New Hampshire on the day of the primary to go to South Carolina. According to national polls, Biden has the most minority support among the candidates. Although Biden had dismal performances in Iowa (fourth with 15.8%), and New Hampshire (fifth with 8.4%), according to a recent NBC/WSJ poll he is second nationally with 15% of Democratic primary voters.
Biden came second behind Sanders in the Nevada caucuses with 20.4%.
On Wednesday, Feb. 26 Portland City Councillors Spencer Thibodeau and Nicholas Mavodones announced their endorsements for Biden.
Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been surging lately, pulling out a surprise third-place showing in New Hampshire.
Klobuchar visited Maine on Saturday, Feb. 29 for a 'grassroots event' which drew a crowd of about 500; her daughter Abigail has also visited Maine with campaign events in Westbrook and Kittery on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Following the Las Vegas debate, Klobuchar launched a seven-figure ad buy in Super Tuesday states including in Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Amy for America campaign says Klobuchar has staff in every Super Tuesday state as well.
On Monday, Feb. 24, the campaign announced Maine State Rep. Michele Meyer endorsed Klobuchar. Meyer is a first-term Rep. for District 2, composed of Eliot and parts of Kittery and South Berwick. In a statement, Meyer said, “As a Maine State Legislator and a registered nurse, I support Senator Klobuchar because she is the best choice for communities like mine. She knows our problems and will fight for us. Amy has focused on lowering prescription drug prices more than any candidate in this field, and will address shortages in our health care workforce.”
The Bangor Daily News editorial board endorsed Klobuchar on Thursday, Feb. 27, citing her "realism, track record of hard work, and an understanding of rural America to the job."
The following day, Maine State Sen. Geoff Gratwick of Bangor endorsed Klobuchar. She picked up endorsements from nine additional local leaders following her rally in Portland: District Attorney Natasha Irving, State Rep. Stephen Moriarty, Portland City Councilor and former Mayor Jill Duson, Secretary of the Mechanic Falls, Minot, and Poland Democratic Committee Susan K. Lea, former State Sen. Richard Woodbury, former State Rep. Richard Spencer, community leaders Ben Sprague and Pam Moriarty, and activist and filmmaker Pam Maus.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been holding town halls in Maine recently, drawing crowds. NEWS CENTER Maine has reached out to the campaign about endorsements and will update this story.
Billionaire Tom Steyer dropped out of the presidential race on Saturday, Feb. 29. He had not received any Maine endorsements.
This is a running list of endorsements and will be continually updated.