Max Linn, who ran for one of Maine’s U.S. senate seats in 2020, died on Saturday of an apparent heart attack while in a hot tub, Bangor Daily News reports. He was 62.
Linn was vehemently opposed to public health protocols meant to contain the spread of Covid-19, despite him possibly being among the first in Maine to have had Covid-19, as Sun Journal reports. During his 2020 senate run, he made headlines when he cut up a mask during a televised debate and he refused to answer questions by repeating “request denied.” He lost by a wide margin (garnering 1.6 percent of the vote in a four-way tie) to incumbent Republican candidate Susan Collins.
His party allegiance changed through the years as he chased his political aspirations. While he lived in Florida where he was a businessman, he made unsuccessful bids as a Democratic candidate for Senate and for governor in the Reform Party. He also supported Barack Obama’s first presidential run. Once he moved to Maine, he tried to run for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2018, but he failed to qualify for the primary ballot after the Secretary of State ruled a number of the petition signatures required were invalid.
Undeterred, Linn entered the 2020 Maine senate race as an Independent, despite being a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. After losing, he continued to support Trump; Linn was among the crowd in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.
While Linn was never diagnosed with Covid-19, he told a reporter that he may have gotten the disease while on a visit to China, which included a stop in Wuhan, in December 2019. He was so sick that he said he thought he might not survive. Yet, during his senate run the following year he called Dr. Nirav Shah, director of Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, “the very doctor of death” and then Gov. Janet Mills a “psychopath” for their policies intended to control the spread of Covid-19, which Linn viewed as impeding freedoms.
In October, former aide Matt McDonald alleged that Linn pulled a gun on him over a cryptocurrency dispute. McDonald sought a protection order against Linn and the case was supposed to go to court in November, but it was postponed. Earlier this month, McDonald withdrew the protection order.