GOP candidates visit ParisPublished on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:12 am
PARIS — Maurice Restaurant hosted two Republican candidates looking for a shot at Capitol Hill on Monday in a meet and greet organized by Suzanne Grover of Grover Gundrilling.
Maine Sen. Kevin Raye is running for Congress against incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud. Rick Bennett, a former Maine senator, is running in the Republican primary to replace U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, who is retiring after her current term.
The two candidates met with local voters one-on-one and listened to their concerns. Bennett, who was the former Maine Senate president and served on the Republican National Committee, talked about spending his weekend at the Maine Republican Convention and how he made the best of a chaotic, two-day convention.
Delegates spent much of the day waiting in the seats at the Augusta Civic Center, and Bennett was there to talk to some of Maine's more passionate Republicans. “I just had great conversations with hundreds of people,” he said.
Raye, who owns Raye's Mustard, was giving away jars of his mustard with his name and his campaign logo, “Cut the mustard.” Raye said he had been a dedicated Republican since he was 15 and wrote a letter to Snowe. She replied with a four-page, handwritten letter.
Raye said he chaired the Washington County Republican Party before he was old enough to vote and later worked as an aide to Snowe and as her chief of staff for 6½ years. Most recently, Raye has served four terms in the Maine Senate.
Grover said she's been organizing similar events for years to give people in the community a chance to meet candidates in person and ask questions they might not want to ask in front of a crowd at a larger campaign event.
Grover will have Maine Sen. Deborah Plowman, another GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, in town next Monday. She said they'll walk around town and visit local businesses if weather permits.