Charlie Summers

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Charlie Summers
Charlie Summers.jpg
48th Secretary of State of Maine
In office
January 5, 2011 – January 7, 2013
Governor Paul LePage
Preceded by Matthew Dunlap
Succeeded by Matthew Dunlap
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 31st district
In office
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Barry Hobbins
Succeeded by Joan Pendexter
Personal details
Born (1959-12-26) December 26, 1959 (age 56)
Danville, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Black Hawk College
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Charles E. "Charlie" Summers, Jr. (born December 26, 1959) is an American politician, businessman, Iraq War veteran and member of the Republican Party from the state of Maine. A member of the Maine Senate from 1991 to 1995, Summers ran for the Republican nomination for Maine's 1st congressional district in 1994, coming second in the primary. He was the nominee for the same seat in 2004 and 2008, losing on each occasion to the Democratic candidate. From 2011 to 2013 served as the Secretary of State of Maine. He was the Republican nominee for the U.S Senate to succeed the retiring Republican Olympia Snowe in the 2012 election, but lost to former Independent Governor Angus King.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

He was born in Danville, Illinois in 1959 . His family moved to Kewanee, Illinois where he grew up. In 1978 graduated from Kewanee High School in 1978 Kewanee. He earned an AA from Blackhawk College and a BS in Leisure Studies from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. After college he moved to Bangor, Maine where became the Assistant Manager of the Bangor Motor Inn. He and his late wife, Dr. Debra J. Summers, Ph.D., later moved to southern Maine where he worked as part of the management team of the South Portland Motor Inn. He later opened his own small business, "Charlie's Beverage Warehouse", in Biddeford, Maine.

Summers was State Director for United States Senator Olympia Snowe from 1995-2004. He has served in various elected and appointed political positions, most recently (March 2005 - June 2007) as the New England Regional Administrator (Region I) for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). He monitored oversight of SBA's Financing, Marketing, and Outreach efforts in Offices from six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. [1]

Maine Senate[edit]


He was elected in 1990, becoming the first Republican to represent Maine's 31st Senate District. He was re-elected in 1992, but decided to retire in 1994 in order to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Joint Standing Committee on Legal Affairs
  • Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Joint Standing Committee on Taxation (Ranking Member)

Congressional elections[edit]


Democratic U.S. Congressman Thomas H. Andrews, of Maine's 1st congressional district, decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Opponents included Kevin Keogh (former Chairman of the Maine Republican Party),[2] Ted Rand (City Councilman), and James Longley, Jr. (son of former Governor James Longley, Sr.). Longley won the primary with 43% of the vote. Summers ranked second with 25%.[3]


Summers decided to challenge Democratic U.S. Congressman Tom Allen, of the 1st CD. He lost 60%-40%. [4]


Allen decided to retire in 2008 in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Summers decided to run for the seat again. In the Republican primary, he defeated Dean Scontras 60%-40%. [5] In the general election, he lost to Democratic State Senator Chellie Pingree, 55%-45%.[6]

Military service[edit]

Summers has been in the U.S. Navy since 1995. He was recalled after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, serving at the Pentagon under Gordon R. England, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. In July 2007, he was deployed to Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom with Multi National Forces-Iraq Strategic Effects Directorate. He returned home in May 2008. In September 2010, Summers was deployed to Afghanistan to serve as a public affairs officer.

Maine Secretary of State[edit]

On December 1, 2010 Summers was elected Maine's Secretary of State[7] by the state legislature in Augusta. His two-year term began on January 6, 2011.

On June 26, 2012, Summers faced criticism from the Maine Democratic Party over a shortage of voter registration cards for candidates to distribute. A spokesperson for the Party claimed it was another example of Summers attempting to make it harder to vote, along with his support of a failed effort to eliminate same-day voter registration in Maine the prior year, as well as his investigation of college students for alleged voter fraud. [8] Summers noted that potential voters can print a card from the Internet at any time, and that updated registration cards will be available in a few weeks.[9]

2012 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In 2012, Summers announced that he would be a candidate for the United States Senate to succeed incumbent Olympia Snowe, who decided to retire. On June 12, Summers won a multi-candidate primary with 30% of the vote and faced former Independent Governor Angus King, and Democratic State Senator Cynthia Dill in the general election. Despite the support of Senator Snowe and the other Senator from Maine Susan Collins, Summers lost the election to King.

The Maine People's Alliance called on Charlie Summers to resign his position as Secretary of State of Maine, stating that it was a conflict of interest for the Secretary of State to oversee their own election to another office. They also had concerns over past actions in sending letters to college students about voter registration requirements. A spokesperson for Summers stated that he had turned over all election oversight to a deputy Secretary of State. No Secretary of State or Maine Attorney General who was seeking higher office in the last 30 years has resigned. [10] Summers has stated that his critics "want me to resign and I'm not going to do it."[9]

Personal life[edit]

His parents are Patricia and Charles Summers and he is the 2nd youngest of 5. Kathy, Jim, Deb, Charlie and Ray Summers. He has several nieces and nephews. David Scott from Kathy, Jessica Lynn Hanko-Summers and T.J. Summers from Jim, and Charlie Harker, Erin and Thomas from Deb. He is married to Ruth Summers, and has three children, Patricia, Chas, and Thomas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Department of the Secretary of State, Detailed Biographical Information". Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  2. ^ John S. Day (March 8, 1994). "Congressional shuffle prompts field of hopefuls". Bangor Daily News. pp. 1, 3. 
  3. ^ "ME District 1 - R Primary Race - Jun 14, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  4. ^ "ME - District 01 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  5. ^ "ME District 01 - R Primary Race - Jun 10, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  6. ^ "ME - District 01 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Secretary Charles Summers, Jr. Biography - Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  8. ^ Matthew Stone (June 25, 2012). "Secretary of state office has voter registration card shortage; Dems blame Charlie Summers". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  9. ^ a b "Summers won't resign as Secretary of State during Senate campaign". Kennebec Journal. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Maine People's Alliance wants Summers resignation". Bangor Daily News. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State of Maine
Succeeded by
Matthew Dunlap
Party political offices
Preceded by
Olympia Snowe
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maine
(Class 1)

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