LEWISTON — Maine House Speaker Steven Rowe, D-Portland, confirmed Friday that he’s considering a 2000 run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Olympia Snowe.
Tall, gray and handsome, successful and smart, Rowe could pose a serious threat to even someone as established and popular as Snowe. And if Rowe doesn’t step forward, Senate President Mark Lawrence and Senate Majority Leader Chellie Pingree are rumored to be interested in the race.
Rowe, meeting with the Lewiston Sun Journal editorial board, said he won’t give a possible Senate run serious thought until after the Legislature recesses in May or June.
“I’d be lying if I said no,” the speaker said when asked about a possible race for Snowe’s seat. “I’ve been approached … and it’s something I’d like to think about.”
Rowe, the father of four, is serving his first and last term as speaker, an early victim of Maine’s term limits law. A UNUM lawyer on unpaid administrative leave, Rowe lives in Portland and has snatched the attention of party faithfuls.
“His integrity is unquestioned, and his leadership on education, particularly on early childhood issues, is significant,” said Gwethalyn Phillips, chairwoman of the Maine Democratic Party.
As speaker, Rowe is championing child care legislation, more money for kindergarten to grade 12 education and the state’s colleges, expansion of the prescription drug program for seniors, and more investment in research and development.
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