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Republican challenger says domestic violence charges prepared him for Senate career

Just when you thought "legitimate rape" was the dumbest thing Republicans could possibly come up with, here comes a new candidate for the U.S. Senate from Maine:

Erick Bennett, a conservative Portland consultant who has launched a Republican primary campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, says his experience with the justice system — which he obtained when he was convicted of domestic violence assault 10 years ago — is driving him toward what he calls a “pro-family” agenda.

Here's more from the Bangor Daily News:

Bennett held a news conference Monday in Portland, during which he talked about his campaign, the domestic violence conviction, and controversy over his self-described role as a staffer for Gov. Paul LePage’s 2010 campaign — a role that others in LePage’s campaign team said Bennett never played.

Republican power players in Maine, including state GOP Chairman Rick Bennett — no relation — have distanced themselves from the primary hopeful, who they say is not a credible primary challenger.

Erick Bennett deflected those comments Monday, saying he’s had invitations to speak with several GOP county caucuses ahead of the 2014 primary.

“The majority of the state party, at this point, is worried about their meal ticket losing and the people actually getting someone that’s going to represent them,” he said. “I think that’s where their opposition is coming from.”

Bennett was convicted of Class D assault in a 2003 District Court ruling after attacking his wife. The two since have divorced.

One last thing…
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