Hinck’s signature mistake shakes up Portland races

Portland City Councilor Jon Hinck - John Clarke Russ | BDN

Portland City Councilor Jon Hinck – John Clarke Russ | BDN

Portland City Councilor Jon Hinck, who had previously served as a state representative and who ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2012, announced this morning that he had failed to deliver his nomination signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in time to have his name placed on the ballot for the State Senate race he had intended to contest.

Hinck had fully intended to make the race to replace term-limited Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, and said he had 137 signatures verified and ready to go (100 are required to qualify), but just forgot to turn them in.

“I’ve been at a thousand doors in the last four weeks and had conversations with 310 people. Today I was planning on doing the same thing,” said Hinck, “But I learned at eight o’clock last night that I wasn’t going to be a candidate today.”

Asked if he would be running for another office instead, Hinck noted that he still had time to decide to run for re-election to his current City Council seat, but that he’d “hate to be in the position of discouraging Pious Ali.”

Ali, a member of the Portland School Board and the first African-born Muslim American to be elected to a public office in Maine, has already garnered a long list of endorsements for his City Council candidacy.

Hinck said he would be considering other options to advance the issues he cares about outside of elected office and seemed to be maintaining a sense of humor about his mistake.

“Wasn’t it just classic, in the Twitter age, that someone immediately pulled up my tweet about how sloppy the marijuana initiative had been run?” said Hinck.

As for the remaining candidates in the District 27 State Senate race, Hinck says that he hasn’t decided who he will support, but that it definitely won’t be Rep. Diane Russell.

“No matter who it is, a Democrat running in Portland who is not only not running with Clean Elections but is doing damage to Maine’s efforts to get money out of politics could never get my support,” said Hinck.

Russell is running a privately-financed campaign, relying on mostly small contributions from a large, national email list she has built of progressive activists. Her remaining opponents, fellow state representative Ben Chipman and doctor and Peaks Island resident Charles Radis, are both running publicly-financed campaigns using Maine’s Clean Elections system.

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike is Maine's longest-writing political blogger and explores state politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center.