Representatives Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud both say they're likely to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Olympia Snowe. Former Governor John Baldacci has also taken out papers to run. If no one turns away, it could become one of the biggest and most important Democratic primaries in Maine history.
According to the Huffington Post, Pingree and Michaud huddled on the House floor yesterday to discuss the race, with neither backing down from their plans.
Pingree also went on MSNBC last night, sounding very much like a candidate:
A similiar but lower-key confrontation is shaping up on the Republican side with State Senate President Kevin Raye, former gubernatorial candidate Peter Cianchette, State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and others all making noises that they want to contest the seat.
Former independent governor Angus King has also said he's considering the race and even former independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler has declined to say he won't run.
Despite unfounded rumors spread in the national press of possible scandals or of Snowe seeking to run for President under the Americans Elect banner, the reasons for her departure seem to be exactly what she expressed in her letter - that she was just plain tired of dealing with increased polarization. Jonathan Riskind of the Press Herald has more on her decision process.
In the end, it appears the Tea Party succeeded in forcing Snowe from office, just not in they way they'd intended.