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Senate candidate known for debate stunts dies at 62

Max Linn talks to reporters, Jan. 9, 2021, near the Maine State House, in Augusta, Maine.Joe Phelan/Associated Press

Max Linn, a former U.S. Senate candidate from Maine who shook up a high-profile race with his antics during debates, has died. He was 62.

Linn died on Saturday, according to his lawyer. He died of an apparent heart attack, the Bangor Daily News reported.

He was a retired financial planner who ran as a conservative independent during the 2020 Senate election that ultimately sent Republican Sen. Susan Collins back to Washington.

Linn didn’t garner many votes, but he made an impression during debates, such as when he cut up protective masks in protest of COVID-19 rules. He also told a moderator “request denied” when he was asked to stay on topic.

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Linn also ran for Congress and governor when he lived in Florida. He first came on the political scene in Maine in 2018 when he attempted to run against independent Sen. Angus King, but was disqualified from the Republican primary.

Linn was also accused of pointing a gun at a former campaign staffer in a dispute over a cryptocurrency investment, according to court documents.

The allegations were included in a protection order brought against Linn by a former assistant, Matt McDonald, the Bangor Daily News reported.

McDonald alleged in court documents that Linn gave him money to invest in cryptocurrency earlier this year but that Linn reversed course upon return from an overseas trip and sought to buy drugs falsely touted as COVID-19 cures. Linn pointed a gun in McDonald’s direction when the two met to try to resolve the dispute, McDonald said in the court filing.