Brakey’s campaign files lawsuit against his primary rival

Maine lawsuit challenges Senate candidacy of Republican who used invalid signatures

By Scott Thistle

State Sen. Eric Brakey’s campaign political director, David Boyer, filed a complaint Tuesday, asking a judge in Kennebec County Superior Court to overrule a decision by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap that allowed Brakey’s Republican rival, Max Linn, to remain on the June 12 primary ballot.

Last week, Dunlap invalidated more than 200 voter signatures on Linn’s nomination petition after Brakey’s campaign complained that some of the signatures were either forgeries or from dead voters.

Linn, a financial planner from Bar Harbor, has claimed that Brakey’s campaign planted the fake signatures in an attempt to discredit his campaign. However, Dunlap said he found no evidence of that when he determined Linn still had enough valid signatures to remain on the ballot.

“(Dunlap) threw out all the signatures on petitions where we had a 100 percent confirmed case of fraud and forgery but you have many more petitions by those same circulators who, the Secretary of State found, lied under oath, forged signatures and committed fraud and yet he let all their remaining signatures count without any additional scrutiny whatsoever,” said Brakey, of Auburn. “I think we demonstrated that this wasn’t just a case here and there of fraud and forgery, this was a really systemic problem throughout.”

Brakey said Dunlap should have invalidated all the signatures gathered by any of the circulators who had fake signatures on their petitions.

A U.S. Senate candidate in Maine needs the valid signatures of 2,000 voters to make the ballot.

After a hearing with Linn and Brakey’s election teams, Dunlap found 230 signatures on Linn’s petition were either invalid or forgeries. But Dunlap also confirmed that Linn still had 2,018 valid signatures – 18 more than needed.

Linn said Tuesday that he predicted Brakey would take the issue to the courts.

“I’m not surprised at this political stunt, as Eric’s open borders-pro drugs message is failing with the voters,” Linn said in a prepared statement. “Secretary Dunlap is a person of integrity and he and his staff serve the State of Maine with great distinction. It saddens me that Eric has decided to spit in their face. My campaign moves forward with the Maine Now Agenda.”

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