Skip to comments.Maine Senator Art Mayo becomes legitimate Democrat after election
Posted on 12/09/2004 5:17:23 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER
AUGUSTA Sen. Arthur Mayo of Bath, newly re-elected to a second term, said Tuesday he had switched his party registration from Republican to Democrat.
"It's a change in affiliation. It's not a change in philosophy," said Mayo, whose move across the political aisle boosts the Democratic Senate majority in the new Legislature to 19-16.
Characterizing himself as a long-standing "liberal Republican," Mayo said "it has been increasingly difficult in the Senate Republican caucus" for someone with his political philosophy.
Mayo said he believed the Republican Senate bloc has "moved to the right" and that at least some of his GOP colleagues had become uncomfortable with his voting and stances on some issues.
Mayo specifically cited his support for the Dirigo Health program, "which is not a Republican position." The Dirigo Health program was designed and shepherded into law by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci.
Mayo said the turning point for him was resistance in Republican ranks to his continued service on the Legislature's Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Mayo, who previously served four terms in the House of Representatives, has served on the panel dealing with banking and insurance matters since entering the Legislature a decade ago.
In a telephone interview, Mayo posed a question for himself, asking if he should have reregistered as a Democrat earlier and, answering his own query, said, "possibly."
In November, Mayo easily won re-election to a second term in Senate District 19, which includes all of Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden. He defeated Democrat Donna Loring and independent Alice Knapp to retain the seat he first won in 2002.
Mayo said he had been mulling the move since last week's swearing in and that he formally made the change Tuesday.
"I filed a card today ... It has happened," he said.
Mayo said he had received a satisfactory rating from a pro-business advocacy group and that his votes on labor issues had alternately pleased or displeased one side or another. He added that he did not plan to alter his approach and had so informed Senate President Beth Edmonds, D-Freeport.
"I can't say where I will be committee-wise," Mayo said.
Reaction to Mayo's announcement ranged from anger to conciliation. Jay Manhardt, former chairman of the Republicans in Bath, this morning expressed anger over the timing of the announcement.
"The timing, this close to the election, shows to me his real character," Manhardt said. "It's theft and deception to those of us who gave to his campaign. I want my $10 back."
Pat Percy, chairwoman of the Sagadahoc Republicans, said she was "very surprised" to hear of Mayo's switch.
"I'm disappointed in Art the man," she said. "A lot of people put a lot of effort into his campaign. The decent thing to do would have been to call for a new election and let us run a Republican against him. That would help ease people's disappointment."
Jennifer DeChant, chairwoman of the Sagadahoc County Democrats, said she was pleased with Mayo's move.
"I think it is in line with Sen. Mayo's past record that he come over to the Democrats," she said. "He has favored affordable health care and access to education, both issues consistent with the Democratic Party."
Mayo said this morning that his e-mail hasn't been working so he hasn't been able to monitor the reaction to his announcement.
"But I've had only two calls from people upset with me," he said.
The switch should give Senate Democrats, whose original edge in the chamber was a mere one vote, some breathing room. At the same time, the 19-16 advantage remains modest and compares to a similarly modest Democratic edge in the House of Representatives, where the outcomes of three district elections are under review.
What's the difference between Mayo, Snowe and Collins?
At least mayo isn't lying to your face about party affiliation any more. Snowe and collins are democrat hos posing as rinos.
Moose droppin' power ping.
Obviously he is sacrificing his party affiliation to cross the aisle to get more clout in the legislature. Always better to be with the majority.
Freepers should remember that several Dems have swithced to the GOP while in office:
1994 - Richard C. Shelby, while U.S. senator from Alabama
1995 - Jimmy Hayes, while U.S. representative from Louisiana
1995 - Greg Laughlin, while U.S. representative from Texas
1995 - Ben Nighthorse Campbell, while U.S. senator from Colorado
1995 - Wilbert J. "Billy" Tauzin, while U.S. representative from Louisiana
Though I am not sure about Shelby, all of the other switches happened after the 1994 election, so a switch to the majority party helped them (and the GOP, the new majority party).
In Senator Campbell's case, he would go on to win re election 1998 (he didn't run in 1994). The House members, of course, ran in 1994 as democrats, taking $ party money as well as the money of their supporters, before joining the majority party in the House.
So it happens. If the citizenry is irked, they should mark them for removal. If not, well, that's showbiz.
In any case, party switches happen: I give GOPers who switch to Dems a good riddance salute, and quietly mark their names down for future reference.
Much was made about the Jeffords switch to Independent (giving control of the House to the Dems for under 2 years). I wasn't pleased at the time, but I recognized that with an evenly divided senate it wouldn't matter much anyway. Evidently he strutted into the White House threatening to bolt, and it would set a bad example to give in to him. ADIOS!
I knew we would get a sound majority again, and we did (and should continue to make modest gains here and there). At the time, I knew we would reward Jeffords with a plum position as 'Chairman of the Men's Senate Washroom,' or something like that.
As I said with a smile to some smug dems at the time 'I hope Jeffords likes his new friends!' And I meant it!
[By the way, this is the same method I use to deal with a woman in my life who becomes too demanding or begins comparing me - unfavorably - to other men. "You don't like it, hit the road, sister!" This is the best way to move through life, no doubt!]
The times, they are a-changin'
Screwed, blued and tattooed.
Of course he doesnt have the guts to make the switch before the election. He ought to re-imburse the state GOP and any donors....but well...you know what the reality is.
Liberals - their ethics are consistently deceitful.
"hos" is just childish (not to mention misspelled). Snowe and Collins are RINOs posing as RINOs and their voters seem to be happy with them.
wrong and wrong.
Shister = Democrat
It just too bad that he didn't reveal himself until after he ripped off his voters.
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