LEWISTON, Maine — State Sen. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, on Wednesday endorsed Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina on the eve of Fiorina’s scheduled visit to Maine.
Fiorina is making several private Maine appearances Thursday, including a luncheon at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, as well as attending a fundraising event in her honor that’s being co-sponsored by Volk in Portland.
The endorsement also comes on the heels of the Republican National Committee and CNN announcing that Fiorina would be among the candidates to participate in the second GOP presidential debate.
Labeled a second-tier candidate, Fiorina was excluded from the first debate hosted by the Fox News Network on Aug. 6.
“I just [have] been incredibly impressed with Carly every time I’ve seen or listened to her in an interview,” Volk said Wednesday. “She doesn’t hesitate to answer questions, [and] she’s very honest.”
While it’s not her primary reason for supporting Fiorina, Volk said it was important to her that Fiorina is the only woman in the GOP race.
“I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it plays some role, but I think it is a little bit of a minor role,” Volk said. “I’m mainly interested in my party picking a winner, and I think Carly can be that winner.”
More important than her gender, Fiorina, a former computer industry executive from California, is a “political outsider,” Volk said.
“I think America is ready for that, and I think that’s where a lot of the interest in [Donald] Trump is coming from, that and the fact he has great name recognition,” she said.
Volk added that women have an important role to play in American politics and certainly “deserve a seat at the table.”
Volk also was adamant that she supports Fiorina in her bid to be president and not as potential general election running mate for another Republican.
Volk also said she had no grand expectations at the endorsement of a state senator from Maine would have a major influence on the race overall.
“I’m going to help out with the campaign to the extent that I can. I’m doing my part on social media. I think that plays a big role,” she said.
Fiorina, who turns 61 on Sunday, has never held public office. In 2010, she won the California Republican primary to challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who easily defeated Fiorina in the general election.
Volk joins a growing list of Maine GOP lawmakers who have decided to back one of the many GOP candidates hoping to be that party’s eventual nominee for the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
State Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, has made his support of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul known, and Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport, the House minority leader in Maine, has announced his support for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Gov. Paul LePage has announced his support for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has endorsed Jeb Bush.