Good morning from Augusta, where the November election could lead to wide-open races for leadership positions in the Maine Legislature, and some members are already raising money and ramping up campaign activities to jockey for the important slots.
The Republican caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives may have to completely replace their leadership teams, while House Democrats — if they keep control of the chamber in 2018 — may have to fill two positions under House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, who is expected to stand for re-election to her chamber-leading post.
All of this depends on who wins and loses in November. The caucuses that win control of each chamber get three leadership positions to the losing sides’ two. The most crucial spots are Senate president, House speaker and minority leader. The majority and minority leaders handle much of the business on the chamber floors and each have an assistant leader.
It’s an insular process. While these leaders control the flow of legislation and the agendas of their parties, races for these positions aren’t waged in public. Leaders are nominated and elected by new legislators once they get to Augusta in December. People often get them after raising cash for campaigns or helping candidates get elected in other ways.