Is Rick Bennett the next chairman of the Republican Party?

According to two sources within the Republican Party, former state Senate President Rick Bennett is seriously considering becoming the next chairman of the Republican Party. The GOP and the governor’s staff approached Bennett about this possibility last week, and the governor is apparently meeting with Bennett about the possibility as soon as today. Since the initial outreach, Bennett has had extensive conversations with Jason Savage, current executive director, centered on party finances, structure, personalities and general health of the organization. Shortly, he will also likely be meeting with Senator Susan Collins.

Bennett is known as a pretty straight shooter and a smart political tactician. My understanding in that he is liked by the Ron Paul wing (he was endorsed by the Liberty Caucus), the Tea Party/Governor wing (they reached out to him), and the moderate/Susan Collins wing (his natural base). Certainly impressive, if he has achieved such a balance.

Bennett was a prominent state senator in the 1990s and rose to become Senate president with then state Senator Mike Michaud from 2000-2002 (the Senate was evenly divided that session). He ran for Congress in 1994, losing a close race to John Baldacci. Most recently, he ran for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary in 2012. Back in the 1980’s he actually served as the party Executive Director when he was in his mid 20’s.

As I learn more, you will as well.