Michaud is exploring a gubernatorial bid, leaving his potentially competitive 2nd District wide open.
Next time there’s an open Senate seat, local operatives say, Rep. Chellie Pingree would clear the Democratic field. As a result, her seat in the state’s more left-leaning district would attract a bevy of Democratic candidates.
“We’d literally have every single Democrat running,” one Maine Democratic operative joked.
Pingree’s daughter, former state Speaker Hannah Pingree, was mentioned as a top-tier candidate for her mother’s seat someday. Other potentially strong Democratic candidates include state Speaker Mark Eves and Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant.
Former state Sen. Ethan Strimling, a Democrat who lost to Pingree in the 2008 primary, was also mentioned as a possible candidate.
Republicans listed Ruth Summers, wife of failed 2012 GOP Senate candidate and former Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers, as an attractive candidate for that race. She is a veteran who campaigned for her husband while he was serving in Iraq in 2010.
But GOP operatives lamented the thin bench of candidates in the 1st District, which is already a tough one for Republicans to win.
“It’s just an extremely Democratic district,” one GOP operative said. “Honestly, I think a serious Republican that wanted to run for Congress in Maine would find a home in the 2nd District.”
Farm Team is a weekly, state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.