In the first two months of his bid to win a U.S. Senate seat, Republican Max Linn garnered one campaign contribution.

Federal Election Commission records show that Linn’s campaign raised $75,250 through the March 31 reporting deadline. All but $250 of it came in the form of a loan from the candidate himself.

His one donor, Irvine W. Marsters Jr. of Bangor, could not be reached Monday.

Linn hopes to snag the Republican nomination for Senate in a June 12 primary against state Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, that has proven far and away the most vicious of any of the contests on the June ballot.

Brakey has raised $299,000 so far, including donations from 241 individuals. He had $78,000 left in his campaign fund in April. Linn had $9,000 on hand.

Both are vying for the opportunity to take on U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent former governor who is seeking a second term. King raised $4.1 million for his campaign and had $2.3 million left to spend.

The sole Democratic challenger, educator Zac Ringelstein, has raised $156,000. He had $41,000 of it left at the end of March.

The Republican primary has proved particularly nasty. Over the past week, Linn has called Brakey a coward and a “creepy pervert,” an assertion he posted on Twitter over the weekend but removed later.

Linn’s pervert assertion was tied to Brakey’s vote in Augusta against a measure that would make it a crime to send sexually graphic images to someone who is under the age of 14.

Brakey pointed out that Gov. Paul LePage and some other conservative Maine leaders also opposed the bill. He said Linn “is dragging himself into the gutter” with his smears.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Brakey said his opposition was related to what he considered the proposed law’s muddled language that he feared could result, among other things, with 13-year-olds who send something to someone else their age getting charged with serious crimes.

Brakey is in court seeking to have enough signatures on Linn’s primary petitions thrown out to strip him of a spot on the primary ballot. A judge ordered the secretary of state to reopen his probe into the signatures to consider new evidence collected by Brakey’s campaign.

In a first hearing with the Secretary of State’s Office, Brakey convinced officials to toss more than 200 signatures after showing various problems, including the inclusion of some names of people who are dead.

Even so, Linn wound up with 18 more valid signatures than the 2,000 required to win a spot on the primary ballot.

Republicans will also decide who should be their gubernatorial candidate in the primary. Democrats will also hold a primary for governor and one to determine their 2nd District congressional candidate.

Steve Collins can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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