Republicans gather for 2020 caucus

By Fran Gonzalez | Feb 11, 2020
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Republican voters begin taking their seats at the Waldo County Republican caucus held at Belfast Area High School Feb. 8.

Belfast —

Over a hundred Republicans from all towns in Waldo County gathered Feb. 8 for the Waldo County Republican Caucus held at the Belfast Area High School. Eight candidates, along with a spokesperson for Sen. Susan Collins, spoke at the event, giving attendees a glimpse into each politician’s views.

Several candidates rallied the crowd, speaking on support for pro-life initiatives, Second Amendment rights, reigning in government spending, doing away with ranked-choice voting and reelecting President Donald Trump.

Among them, Eric Brakey, who is running for the GOP nomination to unseat 2nd District Democrat Jared Golden in Congress, said he sponsored a “Constitutional Carry” law that frees Maine people from “needing a government permission slip” to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Adrienne Bennett, also running for that nomination, spoke of her struggles growing up in poverty and how she would like to empower Mainers to grow the state’s economy. Her statement, “We need to beat Jared Golden,” drew loud applause.

Former Republican House of Representatives legislator and businessman Dale Crafts, also vying for the congressional nomination, said he is proud of his Christian upbringing. He said he is pro-life “without exception,” having raised six children and having 14 grandchildren.

Duncan Milne of Liberty is running for the Maine Senate in District 11 (Waldo County). The retired Marine, who currently serves as president of the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services, said the position would be an extension of his service. He spoke on equaling the playing field between Southern Maine, with its economic prowess, and the rest of the state.

MaryAnne Kinney of Knox is running for her fourth term as the state representative for District 99. She spoke about bills she sponsored while in office, including a maple syrup and honey producers bill that allows producers to continue receiving agricultural exemptions and a bill concerning an exception for truckers delivering animal bedding in mud season.

Jessica Connor of Searsport, running for the House District 98 seat held by Democratic Rep. Scott Cuddy of Winterport, talked about her rise from poverty and becoming a Searsport business owner. She said the state is “regulated and taxed to death” and would like to see Maine with a stronger economy, lower taxes and better-paying jobs.

Katrina Smith, a Palermo candidate running for the House District 96 seat held by Democratic Rep. Paige Zeigler, said she grew up in Appleton and was raised by her mother after her father died. She said the community rallied around her family with donations of food and clothes, and she never felt poor because of that. “I believe that is what Maine is,” she said. She also talked about fiscal responsibility, saying, “Paying $250,000 for a new electric school bus will not fiscally move us forward.”

Rep. Sherman Hutchins of Penobscot, who represents House District 131, which includes Prospect and Stockton Springs, is running for reelection. He spoke of the importance of reelecting Susan Collins, saying, “No one owns her vote.” He also said ranked-choice voting is “extremely dangerous” because it is confusing. “If we elect a Republican, we can do away with that,” Hutchins said.

Carol Woodcock spoke on behalf of Sen. Susan Collins, saying the senator stands for farmers and due process of law and is against ranked-choice voting. Woodcock also said opponents in the Senate race have spent millions to defeat Collins.

The purpose of the caucus is to elect delegates and alternates to the state convention and to elect members to town committees, officers of which become members of the Waldo County Republican Committee. Municipal clerks were also on hand to register new voters.

The state convention will be held April 30-May 2 at the Augusta Civic Center. For more information, contact County GOP Chairwoman JoAn Petersen at 338-2705.

Eric Brakey, left, and Adrienne Bennett, both running for the GOP nomination for Congress in the 2nd District, at the 2020 Waldo County Republican Caucus Feb. 8. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Former state representative and businessman Dale Crafts, left, who is running to represent Maine's 2nd Congressional District, and Duncan Milne, who is running for state Senate in District 11, at the 2020 Waldo County Republican Caucus Feb. 8. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Jessica Connor, left, who is running for state House District 98 against Democratic Rep. Scott Cuddy, and Katrina Smith, who is running for the House District 96 seat against Rep. Paige Zeigler, at the 2020 Waldo County Republican Caucus Feb. 8. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Rep. Sherman Hutchins, left, who is running for reelection in District 131, and Maryanne Kinney, who is running for her fourth term as representing House District 99, speak Feb. 8 at the Waldo County Republican caucus. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Peter Petersen | Feb 15, 2020 07:50

For more information on events held by the Waldo County Republicans, see the website

If you wish to comment, please login.