Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Contact:  Kristen Schulze Muszynski
207-626-8400/ 207-441-7638

Supreme Judicial Court affirms Secretary Dunlap’s decision in Linn candidate petition challenge

AUGUSTA – The Maine Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed the decision of Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap to disqualify candidate Max Patrick Linn from the race for U.S. Senate.

In a two-page ruling, the Justices found that Secretary Dunlap had not abused his discretion or made any errors of law in the process of reviewing the validity of Linn’s candidate petition signatures.

Based on evidence presented by the challenger, David Boyer of the Eric Brakey for Senate campaign, in two challenge hearings held on March 29 and April 24, Secretary Dunlap invalidated 258 of Linn’s original total of 2,248 candidate petition signatures that were initially counted as valid. This leaves Linn with a total of 1,990 valid signatures, which is 10 fewer than the 2,000-signature minimum required to qualify for the June 12 primary election ballot.

“The challenge to the Linn campaign included evidence of fraudulent signatures, voters who testified that they had not signed the petitions, duplicate signatures, and a number of people who signed who were not, in fact, registered Republicans,” said Secretary Dunlap. “Ultimately, we determined that Linn did not have enough valid signatures to qualify for the party nomination of the Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate.”

Secretary Dunlap praised the work of the Justices who reviewed the case and the Attorney General’s Office, which represented the department in court.

“Citizens of Maine should feel assured that our judicial system has given sterling service to the public in thoroughly reviewing this case so rapidly, and never losing sight of the importance of citizens engaging in the public discourse in a manner that embraces the mechanisms of democracy with total, accountable integrity,” he said.

Primary election ballots were already in the process of being printed when the Secretary issued his final decision on April 24, and thus Linn’s name will appear on the ballot. However, voters will be provided with notice at the polls informing them that he is no longer a candidate.

Court Decision PDF format