Kennebec Journal - "Q&A with Ruth Summers"
Ruth Summers, wife of Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Charlie Summers, is doing a lot of heavy lifting this fall to try to help her husband win the June primary and face a Democrat in the November 2008 election.
Her husband is on active duty in Iraq, and will most likely be there until July or August. Summers, of Scarborough, is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve communications division.
So far, only one other Republican has stepped up to challenge him for the nomination Dean Scontras of Eliot.
There are five Democrats fighting for their party's nomination: Mark Lawrence of South Berwick, Adam Cote of Portland, Mike Brennan of Portland, Chellie Pingree of North Haven and Ethan Strimling of Portland.
Here's a quick update on Charlie and what his wife is doing on the ground here.
KJ: How is Charlie doing?
Summers: Charlie's doing well. He's working in the green zone in Baghdad, Iraq with multinational forces. I send him an e-mail every day and talk to him on the phone once or twice a week. He's in good spirits.
KJ: What have you been up to with the campaign?
Summers: I've been up and down the 1st district and side to side. I'm working with county volunteers and chairs. I go to meetings. I make phone calls. I do everything Charlie would do if he were here.
KJ: What's the response been?
Summers: It's fantastic, even from folks I don't know. I get stopped. There's no more going out in my garden clothes.
KJ: The Democrats have a large field of candidates vying for their nomination. Any thoughts on them?
Summers: Nope. I'm really focused on Charlie's campaign. My job is to get him through the primary.
KJ: Any lessons learned from the last time Charlie ran for Congress? (He lost to U.S. Rep. Tom Allen in 2004 by a 60 to 40 margin.)
Summers: Charlie's been in this arena for a long time. The last time he ran was my first venture into politics. I don't know about lessons learned, but I wish there were more hours in the day. I wish I could call people at 2 a.m. when I'm awake.
KJ: Have you ever run for office?
Summers: I'm interested in politics, but I don't have the experience to run. I don't have a desire to run. I have a desire to send Charlie to D.C.
KJ: Are you getting a lot of help from party leaders?
Summers: We have a very strong group of folks I meet with on a regular basis. It's like having five campaign managers. They are leaders in our party who have been instrumental in leading me down the waters.
KJ: Can Charlie do anything to help with his own campaign? Write e-mails?
Summers: He's not allowed. There are strict rules about doing anything in politics when you are on active duty.
Source: Kennebec Journal