AUGUSTA, Maine — An independent U.S. Senate candidate will remain on the November ballot after an ally of Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Friday withdrew a challenge to his nominating signatures that was made moot after a tense hearing this week.
Max Linn, a retired financial planner from Bar Harbor, will be one of at least two independents on the ballot alongside the Republican incumbent and House Speaker Sara Gideon, a Democrat. He will be a wild card due to his wealth and a chameleonic political history.
Linn, who colorfully ran for a number of offices in Florida before emerging in Maine politics in 2018 as a conservative aping the style of President Donald Trump, was disqualified from a 2018 Republican U.S. Senate primary after signatures purportedly from dead Mainers showed up on his nominating petitions.
He got on the Senate ballot earlier this year as an independent, but former state Sen. Mary Small, R-Bath, an ally of Collins, moved last week to challenge 700 of his signatures. It resulted in a Thursday hearing before Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s in which Linn attacked Small’s lawyer and said he was “pissed off” about a continuance of the hearing to Monday.
But it was made moot after Dunlap’s office on Friday accepted another 1,000 signatures that were submitted by Linn’s campaign at a June 30 deadline but were not initially counted. Small withdrew her challenge, which could not be altered to include any of Linn’s newest signatures.
Linn will be on the ballot with the party candidates and former Green hopeful Lisa Savage, who also qualified as an independent. He ran for Florida governor as a Reform Party candidate in 2006 and mounted a congressional campaign two years later there as a Democrat.