Maine State Senator Peter Mills

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Republican Peter Mills to Seek Re-Election to State Senate

Associated Press June 16, 2006

AUGUSTA, Maine --Republican Peter Mills has his eyes on the State House after losing a bid to run for the Blaine House.

State law prevented Mills from running for Legislature at the same time he was running for governor. But the GOP candidate in his District 26 is being referred to as a "place holder" who's expected to step aside to let Mills run.

Mills confirmed Thursday that he plans to ask Somerset County's Republican leaders to designate him as the party's substitute for Maitland Richardson, 76, of Skowhegan.

"I plan to contact Maitland to tell him that, pending his letter of withdrawal, I intend to run," Mills said. "I think the Maine Senate's Republican caucus is going to look fairly strong. I don't know if we will attain the majority, but whether we do or not, the composition of that caucus will be interesting."

Mills, who has six terms in the House and Senate, would face Paul Hatch of Skowhegan, a former Democratic state representative.

The Cornville lawyer had campaigned against two other Republicans -- former U.S. Rep. David Emery and educator and state Sen. Chandler Woodcock of Farmington -- in hopes of getting the nomination to face Democratic Gov. John Baldacci.

In the end, Woodcock came out on top with 39 percent of the vote and Mills came in second with 35 percent. Emery gathered 26 percent of the vote.

Baldacci and Woodcock will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot with Green Independent Pat LaMarche, and independents John Michael of Auburn, Barbara Merrill of Appleton, David John Jones of Falmouth and Phillip Morris NaPier of Windham.

As for Mills, he ran for the GOP gubernatorial nomination as a publicly funded candidate. He said he again would apply for certification under the Maine Clean Elections Act as a state senator seeking re-election.