Andrew Ian Dodge is challenging moderate Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe in the 2012 Republican primary. He filed his candidacy just yesterday and we had a chance to chat (quickly and online through Facebook chat) about his ideas and his campaign for Blogcritics readers.
DN: Obviously you're not happy with Senator Snowe's performance and are hoping many others in Maine share your dissatisfaction, but what in particular motivated you to run against her?
AID: The final straw was her voting Obamacare out of committee into a Democrat dominated Senate. Added to that she voted for TARP and all the other stimuli that drove up the debt.
DN: You're running against a long-time incumbent in the Republican primary. Obviously you think Snowe is vulnerable, but how do you plan on breaking through the incumbency advantage?
IAD: By using all modern means at my disposal to attract new voters into the mix. She has never had a primary challenger and she has not had her actions truly questioned. I will bring all means to bear to scrutinize her time in the Senate and the harm she has done to Maine and the country as a whole.
DN: Any Senate campaign is based around national issues and how they are perceived by local voters. What issues do you plan to focus on that will resonate with the people of Maine.
AID: The taxation and regulation that are strangling small business in Maine, whether it is the five new taxes in Obamacare or the over-enthusiastic regulation from the EPA and other federal agencies. Maine's fishing industry is suffering greatly from EPA and other federal agencies' over-zealous actions.
DN: Maine is a state with a lot of non-conformists, but you hardly present the usual image that most people expect in a Republican politician. Is that a weakness or something you can use to your advantage?
AID: I believe it is something I can use to my advantage to attract those who have been wary of the political process due to the "cookie cutter" aspect of politicians on both sides of the aisle. I am truly an example of the original intent of the Founding Fathers that our legislators are "gentlemen" rather than professional politicians. I have not spent my entire life climbing up the greasy poll for my "chance" to run for Senate. My principles and core values have not changed since I was in college (or earlier) I have just gotten much better at articulating them.
DN: You mention college. You went to Colby in Maine, but went to graduate school in England. Do you think that having lived overseas gives you useful insights which many of our legislators lack?