PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Surrounded by green balloons and volunteers sporting matching T-shirts and holding signs, Angus King, the independent former governor, returned to Aroostook County on Friday to open a campaign office to aid in his bid to replace outgoing Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe.
The office, located at 168 State Street, officially opened at 2:30 p.m., shortly after King met with area farmers to discuss agriculture issues. It is the first office opened outside of the campaign’s headquarters in Brunswick, King said Friday.
Campaign staffers, friends, business leaders and others flocked Friday to the new campaign location in Presque Isle. King said he targeted the city as a great office possibility due to the large number of “very active” volunteers, including Patty LeBlanc, office manager and a longtime King supporter.
At this point, King said Friday, he has between 1,500 and 2,000 volunteers, including a number of high school and college students. They include Amanda Bennett, junior head volunteer for the Presque Isle campaign, who will be a senior this fall at Presque Isle High School.
King said he was excited to see the office opening, adding that his meeting with area farmers gave him a chance to learn about the issues that are important to them.
“Advancing agricultural policy in Congress is critical but can’t happen unless, and until, we also work together to fix the process in our nation’s capital that is now broken,” he said.
King also planned to attend the Maine Potato Board’s annual industry dinner Friday evening.
And on Saturday, he plans to march in the Potato Blossom Festival Parade in Fort Fairfield.
King is running for the U.S. Senate seat against state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democrats’ nominee, and Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers, the Republican candidate. Both Summers and Dill also were scheduled to make appearances at several campaign events in Fort Fairfield on Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the Potato Blossom Festival.
Summers was to attend the potato industry dinner and march in the festival parade on Saturday. Dill planned to spend the day in Fort Fairfield Friday and to march in the parade Saturday.
On Monday, King begins a 600-mile motorcycle trip across the state with supporters to talk about issues in Maine. He will be riding with a group of friends from Fort Kent to Kittery. The four-day campaign ride will pass through towns and cities and also will double as a food drive effort.
Canned goods will be collected along the way by those joining the ride and will be donated to local food pantries.