Frederick G. Payne, 77, a Republican who served four years as governor of Maine and six years as a U.S. senator from that state, died Thursday at his home in Waldoboro, Maine. He suffered from emphysema.
He was elected to the first of two terms as governor in 1949. He then went on to serve one term in the Senate, starting in 1953, he was defeated for reelection to a second term by Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, a Democrat.
The Muskie-payne contest came to national notice when it became obvious that Muskie, although a Democrat, was not regarded as an underdog and that Maine had lost its reputation."
There was another imponderable in the Maine battle. It had to do with the revelation that Payne, like Sherman Adams, presidential assistant to President Eisenhower, had received gifts from Bernard Goldfine, a Boston industrialist. Adams later resigned.
Muskie declined to mention the Goldfine matter while campaigning against Payne. The only candidate among Maine's politicians to mention it publicly was Panye, himself. He explained at rallies that he had been a friend of Goldfine for many years and that Goldfine had helped bring prosperity to Maine by revitalizing mills and creating jobs.
Two years later, when Goldfine was serving a federal prison term on a charge of contempt of court for failing to furnish income tax data, Payne helped by operating Goldfine's textile inerests.
Born in Lewiston, Maine, Payne attended the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in Boston. He became chief disbursing auditor for a chain of 132 New England theaters.
He entered politics in Augusta, capital of the state, and served as its mayor from 1935 to 1941. He also was Maine's commissioner of finance and director of the budget before World War II, when he served with the Army Air Forces.
He managed the Waldoboro Garage Co. before serving as mayor and was an industrial consultant after leaving public office.