Metamorphosis complete? Tom Saviello running for the State Senate... as a Republican

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Kevin Lamoreau
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Metamorphosis complete? Tom Saviello running for the State Senate... as a Republican

When third-term State Representative Charles C. LaVerdiere (D-Wilton) withdrew his candidacy for reelection after the primary in 2002, district Democrats chose Thomas B. Saviello, then an employee of what was then International Paper (in management I believe) to run for the seat. No candidate besides LaVerdiere had filed for the seat, so the Democratic "caucus's" (it's technically a joint municipal committee meeting for the purpose of nominating a replacement candidate but people commonly call such meatings, and those to chose candiates for special elections, caucuses) nomination was tantamount to election, and no write-in candidate filed to run against him (not that that would have been any challenge at all). In his next election in 2004, however, in a slightly changed but still basically the same district, Saviello defeated his Republican opponent by only 56 votes or 1.0%, getting 63.2% in Wilton and 54.8% in next-door Temple but losing every other municipality by 12.4% or more. Whether this had been the case in his first term I'm not sure, but his voting record was visably independent in 2005, and that summer (in July I think) he unenrolled from the Democratic Party. He seemed to quickly affiliate himself with the Republicans and wound up without a Republican opponent in both 2006 (although a Republican initially filed, withdrawing after the primary) and 2008. He got 75.3% in 2006 and 77.4% in 2008 over Democratic challenger Maxine Collins, each time carrying every town in the district with only his margin in Temple being less than 2-1.

Saviello would be termed out of the House in 2010, but today a Thomas Saviello (whose mailing and e-mail address match that of the current state Representative Thomas B. Saviello) [url=http://www.mainecampaignfinance.com/public/report_list.asp?TYPE=CAN&ID=4... today with the Ethics Commission to run for the Senate District 18 seat presently held by 2nd term Republican Walter Gooley (who also served four consecutive the House from 1994 to 2002 before being termed out). Due to Saviello's seemingly cordial relationship with the Republicans since leaving the Democrats in 2005, his candidacy for the Senate alone would seem to indicate that Gooley is not going to seek a third term. But Saviello's party affiliation is listed both in his Candidate Registration and in his [url=http://www.mainecampaignfinance.com/public/entity_summary.asp?TYPE=CAN&I... Summary[/url] (a new feature on the Ethics Commission's public campaign finance information site) as Republican. His [url=http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/hsebios/savitb.htm]House biographical page[/url] still lists his party affiliation as Unenrolled, and I could imagine Saviello waiting until next year to enroll in the Republican primary (he would theoretically have until March 15th (the same day as the filing deadline for Democratic, Republican and Green Independent candidates) to enroll as he is not presently enrolled in any other party (one would have to unenroll from any other party or switch party's by January 1st of the election year, although there's a loophole around committee nominations and if a candidate moves across municipal lines)) so as to minimize the time during this term in which his enrollment is other than what he was elected to it as. But I'm not sure if candidates are expected to list their present enrollment or how they will be running as when they register with the Ethics Commission (it's probably expected that it will be the same). If Saviello has become a Republican, and if not if he does before any Legislator unenrolled from their party or switches to the Greens, this marks or will mark the first time that all Maine Legislators (with the possible exception of the two non-voting tribal representatives whose party affiliation isn't listed on the House web site, at least not in their bio pages) have been either Democrats or Republicans since sometime in the 1992-1994 Legislative biennium when John Michael and another state Represenantative left their party (Michael and I think the other one had been Democrats). There's been at least one Unenrolled member of the House since Belinda Gerry/Murphy (not sure what it was at the time) unenrolled from the Democratic party in January of 1996, just after the Democrats seemed to have saved their House majority after two party defections by winning two special elections the previous November.

Saviello has apparently signed a declaration of intent to run as a Clean Elections candidate, as he has in each of his four elections to the House (unless he ran for the House before 2002, which I'm not aware of him having done but he might have for all I know). I welcome any information/speculation as to what Senator Gooley's plans are and what other candidates (of any party or Unenrolled) might run for the Senate District 18 seat (and also Saviello's House District 90 seat, although the candidates for that seat are more likely to be people I've never heard of).

Unlit Lantern
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Saviello announces he will

Saviello announces he will run for state Senate as a Republican.

http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/?p=3338

Kevin Lamoreau
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Thanks for lightling my

Thanks for lightling my lantern of knowledge, Unlit Lantern.

From that article (with [i]italics[/i] and [u]underscore[/u] added by me):

Saviello, had been unenrolled as an independent, said he intends to run as a Republican, [i]hoping to succeed Senator Walter Gooley (R - Farmington) who stated over the course of the summer that he would [u]not[/u] be running for reelection in Senate District 18.[/i] That area consists of all of Franklin County, except the town of Jay, and the towns of Vienna, Mercer, Rome, Smithfield, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Belgrade, Readfield and Wayne in the counties of Kennebec and Somerset.

Bruce Libby
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The Abbott and Costelo

The Abbott and Costelo routine "Whose on First" couldn't have described the above any better!
Tern limits the comedy routine of politics!

Dan Billings
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Senator Gooley is not term

Senator Gooley is not term limited. He is simply not running again.

FLAMMENWERFER
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Mike Wells, Franklin Cty, GOP

Mike Wells, Franklin Cty, GOP chair and recently retired air force colonel (Iraq service, bronze star, etc.) is almost certain to run for the House seat. Seriously conservative, energetic and personally appealing. Many family connections in Wilton---the key to the district. He went the rounds with the people's veto petition on the new tax bill, so he has some advantage in name recognition. I've heard nothing about a Democratic conitender.

It's assumed that Woloson will be the Democratic aspirant for the senate seat. A hard worker. Walter was not especially energetic in his last campaign.

Kevin Lamoreau
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Thanks for the information,

Thanks for the information, FLAMMENWERFER. I remember thinking of Woloson being the candidate equivilent of a "sleeper" team in an NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament. The five Kennebec County towns added to that district in the last redistricting cycle combine with the existing two smaller towns to give a candidate from that region a sizable regional base. Saviello has a sizable regional base too though. Should be an interesting race if those two are the candidates.

Dan Billings
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Woloson's 2008 performance

Woloson's 2008 performance was a result of a weak incumbent not working very hard in a great year for Democrats. Saviello will work hard and I doubt 2010 will be as good for Democrats. He should win by at least 10 points.

PressMan247
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Saviello will certainly win

Saviello will certainly win that race. You will not find a harder working politician. He is well liked by people on the left, right and center. The guy goes to bean suppers and community events in the smallest towns of Franklin County. Avon, Phillips, Temple, Industry... In fact, you're hard pressed not to find him at an event... It's almost like he's cloned himself. He's everywhere all at once. He has a Ph. D. at the end of his name and impresses people as intelligent yet he's very down to earth. He's every man. Franklin County is fairly conservative. Gooley, Woodcock, it's a Republican seat... Why do you think Tom is enrolling in the party? There is no way they will not run a Republican for a Senate Seat... Maybe in the house, but not in the Senate.

FLAMMENWERFER
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"At least" ten points sounds

"At least" ten points sounds right. Hard to think of a better candidate than Saviello purely in terms of electoral politics. He understands how the thing works and brings constant, unrelenting energy to the job. The optimum combination of sound principle and clever calculation.

As Wilton selectman he voted for the anti-Tabor resolution, but that won't be noticed and Woloson can't very well use it against him.

I'm not sure I understand the advantage in running for selectman in the first place, but he knows his business better than I do,

Henry Clay
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Woolson, who is on the Dem

Woolson, who is on the Dem payroll in the State House or at least was, made quite an impression in Strong when she showed up to one of their events in her BMW. She fit in at that cash-strapped town like an elephant in a bread box.

Kevin Lamoreau
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Saviello is now listed as a

Saviello is now listed as a Republican on all pages of the Maine House of Representatives web site I'm aware of that list his party affiliation, including his [url=http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/hsebios/savitb.htm]House biographical page[/url].

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