AUGUSTA — Kennebec County Republicans who live in Senate District 21 will meet July 16, to pick a new nominee.

So far, two men have expressed interest in the post. Rep. Patrick Flood, R-Winthrop, and Ryan Wheaton of West Gardiner, who recently lost a GOP House primary, have said they both would like to be the candidate in November.

The Republican nominee will face Democrat David Bustin of Hallowell. Bustin is on the State Board of Mediators, served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives in the 1970s and has been both the state’s personnel and labor commissioner.

All registered Republicans living in the 11 towns in the district — Chelsea, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, Pittston, Randolph, West Gardiner and Winthrop — are eligible to vote at the caucus. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Manchester Fire Station on Route 17. Doors open at 5 p.m. to allow time for participants to be checked in.

Earlier this month, Sen. Earle McCormick, R-West Gardiner, who served 10 years in the Legislature, dropped out of the race.

“Kennebec County Republicans are prepared to work tirelessly to maintain the high standard of public service that Earle has achieved,” said Garfield Holmes, chairman of the Kennebec County Republican Committee, in a statement.


Flood most recently served as chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for writing the state budget. After eight years in the House, he cannot seek another term to serve in that chamber because of term limits.

Wheaton, owner of a small business and also a teacher, said he wants to provide a more conservative option than Flood, who announced last week that he is running for the GOP nomination. Wheaton lost in the recent Republican primary for House District 79 to William Guerrette III, 351–305.

The owner of Maine-ly Inks, an on-line commerce company, Wheaton also teaches business at Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta.

Wheaton said he is anti-abortion and pro-traditional marriage. In 2009, Flood voted in support of gay marriage as a member of the House and has voted against legislation that attempted to restrict abortions in Maine.

The November Senate race is one of 35 statewide. Republicans hold a 19–15–1 majority.

Susan Cover — 621-5643
[email protected]

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