FLASHBACK: Scontras Complained Of "Unfairness" Of Not Being Able To Criticize Opponent Who Was Serving In Iraq

October 22, 2010 9:40 am ET — Jamison Foser

During his unsuccessful 2008 congressional campaign, current GOP Maine congressional candidate Dean Scontras complained that it was "unfair" that he was unable to attack an opponent who was serving in the Naval Reserves in Iraq at the time. 

From the February 7, 2008 Portland Press Herald:

Ruth Summers worked the crowd liked a seasoned politician at a Republican caucus in Portland last weekend, but it wasn't her own candidacy she was promoting.

It was the congressional campaign of her husband, Charlie Summers, a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserves who is serving in Iraq.

With her husband forbidden by military rules from campaigning for elective office while on active duty, Ruth Summers, 37, has managed to keep the race for the Republican nomination in Maine's 1st Congressional District competitive.

It remains to be seen whether the unusual nature of Charlie Summers' candidacy will prove to be an advantage or a detriment when voters choose a nominee on June 10. But it's already adding conflict to the race, with Summers' opponent arguing that the absence makes it harder for him to contrast their positions on the issues.

''I do think it creates a sense of unfairness, if you want to use that term,'' said Dean Scontras, a businessman from Eliot. [...]

For Scontras, Summers' absence has been challenging. It's harder to draw a contrast with an ''absent candidate'' who's unavailable for a debate, he said.

Unsurprisingly, Maine voters didn't seem to have much sympathy for Scontras; he lost to Summers handily.