AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican U.S. Senate candidate William Schneider says he will resign from his post as Maine’s attorney general if he comes out on top in a six-way June 12 Republican primary.
Schneider, one of six Republicans vying to succeed Olympia Snowe in the U.S. Senate, announced Friday that the Republican nominee for the Senate seat will need “a singular focus” on what promises to be a hard-fought general election contest.
The attorney general’s office needs that same level of focus, Schneider said at a Friday afternoon press conference in Portland. Schneider said in the statement that he has “discharged” many of his attorney general duties and used vacation time while campaigning for the Senate.
“I don’t think the demands of both jobs will allow me to do both,” Schneider told the Bangor Daily News.
Schneider said voters should know what to expect from him when they cast their ballots on June 12.
“They should know if they vote for me in the primary and I get the nomination, I should be a hard-charging Senate candidate,” he said.
Schneider is one of three Maine constitutional officers hoping to become the Republican Senate nominee. Secretary of State Charles Summers and State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin are also in the contest.
Schneider didn’t call on Summers and Poliquin to resign their posts if they won the GOP nomination. And Summers spokeswoman Jen Webber said the secretary of state plans to remain in his job if he gets the GOP nod.
“There are several initiatives he wants to see through as secretary of state,” she said.
Poliquin said he would decide what to do after the primary.
“I have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Maine and I’m working my tail off to save them money,” he said.
If Schneider wins the nomination and resigns, the governor would appoint a replacement, who would then have to be confirmed by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.
Maine’s attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state are chosen by the state Legislature. In most states, they are either elected by the public or appointed by the governor.