Linn disqualified from primary: Too late to remove name from ballot

AUGUSTA — A last-ditch appeal for Max Linn to run in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate failed on Tuesday when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a lower court ruling to disqualify him.

The Bar Harbor resident’s name still will appear on the ballot due to ballot printing schedules, but a notice will be included with the ballots that he is not an official candidate.

Linn was accused of having fraudulent signatures on his ballot access petitions. The accusation came from staffers for Eric Brakey (R-Auburn), who now runs unopposed in the primary.

After the first challenge hearing on April 5, Dunlap threw out 230 signatures on Linn’s petitions.

After Superior Court Justice William Stokes asked Dunlap to reopen the challenge hearing, he threw out 28 more, putting Linn under the threshold of 2,000 signatures required to appear on the ballot and disqualifying him from the primary.

On Monday, Linn and his attorney Steve Juskewitch asked the state’s Supreme Court to overturn the ruling. Just one day later, Dunlap’s and Stokes’ decisions were upheld.

“Linn has not demonstrated that either the Secretary of State or the court committed an abuse of discretion or any error of law, or that the Secretary of State made findings unsupported by competent record evidence,” the decision in the appeal reads.

Brakey said in a Tuesday statement that he was “deeply honored to be the Republican nominee” and called Linn a “spirited competitor.”

“The votes of Maine People are too sacred to allow fraud in our process and I am proud of my team for helping to root it out,” he said. “I hope Max will stay involved and continue advocating.”

The original complaint alleged that Linn’s petitions contained signatures of deceased people. Forensic document analysts retained by Brakey also claimed that as many as 100 signatures were “unnatural” during the first challenge hearing.

One of the paid signature gatherers, Susan MacKay of Ellsworth, said under oath at the second challenge hearing that signatures were added to one petition after she submitted it.

Linn said more than 20 people would have had access to the petition, so he did not know who was responsible.

Linn has speculated that Brakey’s campaign was responsible for the fraudulent signatures, but has not provided any evidence for that claim.

Requests for comment from the Linn campaign were not answered by press time.


Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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