ELLSWORTH — John Linnehan of Ellsworth has announced his candidacy for state Senate representing District 7, which encompasses much of Hancock County.
The Senate seat is currently held by Sen. Louie Luchini (D-Ellsworth).
Linnehan describes himself as “pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-capitalism to protect our individual financial freedom, pro-Second Amendment. Like Vice President Mike Pence, I am a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!”
John said his goal is to “Make America Godly again,” starting by “Making Maine Godly again.” He supports President Donald Trump’s re-election.
District 7 includes Amherst, Aurora, Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Eastbrook, Ellsworth, Franklin, Frenchboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Mount Desert, Osborn, Otis, Sedgwick, Sorrento, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Surry, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Trenton, Waltham, and part of the Unorganized Territory.
Linnehan is known in the community for his former auto dealership business and his ministries, which once operated out of The Good News Center on Bar Harbor Road in Trenton. He did ministry full time for five years, starting in 2010.
A few years ago, he went into the real estate business, founding Linnehan Homes. At Linnehan Homes, Linnehan said he “pioneered and invented an innovative Path to Home Ownership Plan, creating a ‘bridge’ financial plan for a person to obtain a mortgage.”
That “American Dream Path to Home Ownership Plan” ran into trouble with the state. Last year, Linnehan Homes agreed to refund $18,000 and change its business practices as part of a settlement with the Maine Attorney General’s Office.
Attorney General Aaron M. Frey said some of those who enrolled in the plan “believed that they were buying a home instead of renting with an option to purchase.”
At the time, Linnehan “vehemently” denied that his company had broken any Maine laws and said he had “bent over backward” to cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office. He said customers always had a clear understanding of the program.
This is not Linnehan’s first campaign for public office. In 2004, he ran for what was then State Senate District 28. He was defeated by incumbent Democrat Dennis Damon of Trenton. In that race, Linnehan set a new record in Maine for the amount spent by a candidate for a legislative seat.
According to pre-election filings with the state’s Ethics Commission, Linnehan spent nearly $200,000, much of it his own money, in his campaign to unseat Damon.
Linnehan also lost a 2016 bid for a seat on Ellsworth City Council. Linnehan’s name was on the primary ballot in June the same year to run as a Republican against Democrat Louie Luchini in House District 132. Linnehan was only serving as a placeholder candidate, however, and later withdrew his name.
Linnehan is married to Heather, his high school sweetheart. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 16, 2019. The couple have two sons, Ryan and Chadd, and seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 13 to 23.