AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Charlie Summers says he will keep his current position as Maine Secretary of State while campaigning for U.S. Senate. Summers won a six-way Primary race Tuesday.
Summers says he will be able to handle both jobs, saying others have done it before him.
Maine's Constitutional Officers (Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasurer) are elected by the Legislature. And Summers is not the first of them to run for major political office while continuing to hold the state job. Bill Diamond was Secretary of State and ran in a Democratic primary for Congress. In the eighties, Attorney General Jim Tierney ran for Governor while in office, and there have been others.
Summers says it's the same for him. He says he always intended to stay on as Secretary of State if he won the primary. Summers says there are 460 people in the department, and he has a good team running the different divisions. He says he'll focus on that job during the day, and focus on the campaign and the election issues the rest of the time. He insisted it's all a matter of time management, and won't really be a distraction.
Democrats in the Legislature criticized Summers, along with the Attorney General and State Treasurer, for keeping their jobs while running in the primary. Summers' opponents in the Senate race aren't making a big deal out of this. Democrat Cynthia Dill sent a statement, saying in part... "As long as he is working for them, the taxpayers, full time, and not his campaign, I don't believe he needs to step down."
And independent Angus King's campaign said simply: "It's up to Charlie."