Two unenrolled candidates have qualified for the November ballot in high-profile races featuring well-known candidates.
Tiffany Bond, a Portland attorney, is running for the 2nd Congressional District and Sam Hunkler, a physician from Beals, has put his hat in the ring for governor.
Bond, Hunkler and about 30 others filed enough signatures before the Wednesday deadline to qualify for the November ballot as unenrolled, also called independent, candidates. It is possible others will qualify too, if they meet the 5 p.m. deadline.
Bond ran for Congress in 2018 in the state’s first ranked-choice voting election. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, won the race, followed by former Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin. Will Hoar, another independent, ran in the race as well.
Bond said Wednesday that she wants to focus on issues that affect families, describing herself as “boring and practical and competent.”
“Poliquin and Golden have both had a shot and neither have done a good job for all of us,” said Bond, who practices family law across the state.
Bond said while she will accept campaign donations, she tells supporters that her preference is for people to donate money to local charities or spend it at a local business. She referred to the record-breaking amount of money spent on the U.S. Senate race in 2020 — estimated to be more than $200 million — saying it proves “no amount of money will fix this problem.”
“We all hate the system we have,” she said. “We all know it’s bad. It certainly doesn’t promote the best people to those jobs.”
This time around, Bond will face Golden and the winner of a June 14 primary race between Poliquin and Liz Caruso of Caratunk.
Campaign finance reports show Poliquin has already raised $2 million, Golden has raised nearly $2.8 million and Caruso has $25,685.
Hunkler, who did not respond to a request for comment, has a campaign website that indicates that he will not accept any campaign donations and plans to use his own money “with the goal of spending less than $5,000, excluding travel.”
“I am standing for a different way of governance,” his website says. “I am standing for finding common ground. I am standing for respect, kindness, compassion, gratitude, fairness and integrity.”
Hunkler’s name will appear on the ballot next to Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, and former Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican. Mills has already received more than $2.7 million in campaign contributions and LePage has garnered about $1.3 million, according to campaign finance records.
Several unenrolled candidates filed to run for the Maine House and Senate, including: Doug Thomas of Ripley, Senate District 5; Melissa Hinerman of Machiasport, House District 10; Roy Gott of Franklin, House District 12; Marianna Reeves of Bangor, House District 21; William Pluecker of Warren, House District 44; Les Fossel of Alna, House District 47; Evan Goodkowsky of Wiscasset, House District 47; Peter Lewis of Bowdoinham, House District 52; Nicholas Delli Paoli of Gardiner, House District 54.
Other House independents: Kent Ackley of Monmouth, District 56; Lindsey Harwath of China, District 62; Walter Riseman of Harrison, District 83; Mary-Beth Taylor of Poland, House 87; Benjamin Weisner of Auburn, House 89; Anne Gass of Gray, House 104; Michael Barden of Limington, House 138.