October 20, 2012

Brunswick Republican leader backing a Green? Ask his wife

Meanwhile, a Republican running for House District 66 calls the yard sign 'a bit of a slap in the face.'

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

It's a good sign for a Green candidate to be getting support from conservatives, especially when that sign is planted in the front lawn of the local Republican Party leader.

click image to enlarge

A yard sign supporting a Green Party candidate in front of Jonathan Crimmins' home. Crimmins is the chairman of the Brunswick Republican Town Committee, the Republican running for House District 66 calls the yard sign "a bit of a slap in the face."

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

Jonathan Crimmins, chairman of the Brunswick Republican Town Committee, has a sign in his yard supporting Green Independent Fred Horch in the election Nov. 6 for the state House District 66 seat.

Crimmins said the sign was planted at the request of his wife, Vickie. "I am not in the business of telling my wife who she can and cannot support," he said.

He said he is endorsing Grant Connors, the Republican candidate in District 66, and all other Republican candidates for local seats.

The sign issue reflects the complicated politics of District 66, which generally covers downtown Brunswick, including part of Bowdoin College.

About 39 percent of the district's voters are Democrats, followed by 35 percent unenrolled, 22 percent Republican and nearly 4 percent Green.

For every election since at least 2006, the District 66 seat has attracted three candidates.

In 2010, Horch ran for the Greens and finished second -- by 200 votes -- to Democrat Alex Cornell du Houx. In third place was Jonathan Crimmins.

Du Houx decided not to run again this year, after being accused of harassment by his former girlfriend, Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast.

But Horch is running again, along with Connors, the Republican candidate, and Mattie Daughtry, whom the Democrats nominated in place of du Houx.

Connors hasn't had any signs to post yet, but he expects to put some up this weekend.

A recently retired teacher, he said he initially balked when Republicans asked him to run but later thought he might be able to help make Maine a better place for his grandchildren.

Connors said he hasn't had much help from the local Republican committee. He's taking the Horch sign in front of Crimmins' house as "a bit of a slap in the face."

Andy Cashman, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, said a number of Republicans in Brunswick appear to be backing Horch, including some who have his signs on their lawns.

"You have to wonder if this is some sort of coordinated effort on the part of the Brunswick Republicans to support somebody they believe is going to work to further the Republican agenda in Augusta," said Cashman.

He said that could help liberal voters make a clearer distinction between Horch and Daughtry, the Democratic candidate.

"I think the voters in (District) 66 will look at this and consider why the Republicans are supporting someone like this," Cashman said. "I think this brings into question what (Horch's) real values are."

Horch said that's the kind of thinking -- "Oh gosh, if a Republican supports him he must evil" -- that has turned him off to party politics.

He knows he won't win with the support of Greens alone, and said he appeals to people in the two major parties "who don't like the extreme nature" of either one.

If Crimmins' wife is one those people, Horch is happy to hear it.

"I need every vote I can get," he said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:



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