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First debate gives Maine voters introduction to independents

Besides Collins and Gideon, independents Lisa Savage and Max Linn are also on the ballot and will share the debate stage.

MAINE, USA — Friday night, Mainers get the first chance to see and hear the U.S. Senate candidates go head to head against each other, in the NEWS CENTER Maine/Portland Press Herald/Bangor Daily News Senate debate, but while they have been hearing endless campaign messages from Republican Susan Collins and Democrat Sara Gideon, there are two other candidates many do not know, until now. 

Besides Collins and Gideon, independents Lisa Savage and Max Linn are also on the ballot and will share the debate stage.

Savage is a retired teacher and political activist who describes herself as a political progressive. She supports issues like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and says the country needs to make real changes to take better care of all the people and says she is most qualified to do that work.

“I’m the only one in this race who isn’t a millionaire. The only one in the Senate race. I honestly don’t believe millionaires understand the need for regular working-class Maine families. I think I have a better understanding of their struggles and what their needs are,” Savage said.

Max Linn’s campaign describes him as a populist, who supports the environment and advocates for eliminating student debt, yet also wants a five-year moratorium on immigration, and supports a number of President Trump’s policies. Linn tried to run for the Senate as a Republican in 2018, against Sen. Angus King but had petitions disqualified and did not make the ballot.

Linn was not available for an interview this week, but in a campaign 30-minute video, said he is eager to take on Congress.

“There’s never been a better time for a financial advisor with a financial background to get to Washington,” said Linn. “I’m going there to raise hell and break the furniture in Washington ‘cause someone needs to do it.”

Both independents say they’re serious about the campaign and working at it full time. Savage says her campaign has raised around 1$120,000 so far to spread the message. Linn is financing the campaign himself, most recently buying half-hours of TV time across the state. Both also say that with ranked-choice voting, if they get their message out, they could have a chance against the better known and better-financed party candidates. 

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