Quirky libertarian Senate candidate Andrew Ian Dodge is abandoning his primary campaign against Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to run as an independent, telling TPM that he no longer has any faith in the Maine Republican Party following a disastrous presidential caucus this month.
Initial results showed Romney had won the contest narrowly over Ron Paul, but the non-binding vote became a debacle as errors were found in the certified results and state GOP Chair Charlie Webster said some reported votes had ended up in his party’s e-mail “spam” folder.
“Webster patronized and belittled members of his own party to save his own skin. And his excuse the results were in the ‘spam folder’… well, that is so bad its beyond comment,” Dodge told TPM. “I have no idea whether it is because of corruption or ineptitude but the handling of it made it worse and made it look like it was corruption.”
Dodge, who was an organizer for the Maine Tea Party Patriots before running against Snowe, wasn’t exactly the most threatening challenger to the Maine moderate, who is considered vulnerable from the right thanks to her 2009 vote for the stimulus. He has yet to file an FEC report and has eschewed any kind of fundraising effort (he says he’ll ramp up his financial operation soon). But his eccentric background as a science fiction writer who dresses like a heavy metal singer and articulates a libertarian message drew attention from the local press throughout his run. He announced his initial run with an interview in TPM last year and made his formal announcement at CPAC the same day.
Now that he’s freed from Republican politics, Dodge says his campaign will play up his support for gay rights more — he believes bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional. He hopes to make a play for Paul supporters with his small government platform.
Businessman Scott D’Amboise is still running against Snowe in the primary, and has raised more than $500,000, still far short of the more than $4 million Snowe has put together this cycle. D’Amboise raised eyebrows last year after claiming Obama was not a Christian in an interview with FrumForum.com
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.