Bangor and Brunswick DFA chapters Endorse Jean!
September 30, 2005
Two of the three Maine chapters of Democracy for America announced this week that their groups had endorsed Jean Hay Bright for U.S. Senate in 2006.

The Democracy for America chapter in Brunswick, headed by Ruth Belchetz of Brunswick, notified the national DFA office Wednesday that a poll of the members had resulted in that group's endorsement of Jean for U.S. Senate in Maine in 2006. The Brunswick group had interviewed Jean for an possible endorsement at its August meeting.

The Democracy for America chapter in Bangor, headed by Gary Watson, likewise confirmed that group's endorsement on Thursday.

"As the leader for DFA for the Second Congressional District in Maine, I have polled all my members and there has not been one dissenting voice," Watson wrote to Julia Silbergeld at the national DFA organization. "All endorse Jean Hay Bright as the next Senator from Maine."

Hay Bright had spoken at two Bangor DFA chapter meetings this summer.

Silbergeld said the two chapter endorsements, plus the candidate application that Hay Bright had filled out, would now trigger a review of her campaign. "We are just beginning to review the 2006 applications," she wrote to Hay Bright.

"When considering candidates, Democracy for America weighs grassroots support as the most important factor in making endorsements," Silbergeld wrote to Hay Bright. Beyond the two chapter endorsement, she said, "you can also show your netroots backing by encouraging supporters to recommend your campaign for DFA's support here."

Hay Bright is scheduled to speak at the third Maine group, the Portland DFA chapter, at its meeting Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Company of Girls Theater, 10 May St. in Portland. Alison Smith is Portland DFA chapter organizer. All DFA meetings start at 7 p.m.

Democracy for America is an outgrowth of Dean for America, the grassroots organization that supported Gov. Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign. According to its website,, DFA is "a political action committee dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government." The national DFA organization is currently headed by James H. Dean, Howard Dean's brother. Gov. Dean is now chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Update: October 6, 2005 - After Jean addressed the Portland DFA chapter Wednesday night, chapter organizer Alison Smith said that, unlike the Brunswick and Bangor DFA chapters, the Portland chapter did not have an endorsement procedure and was not likely to develop one anytime soon. She noted that individual endorsements were possible by members of the group by going to the national DFA website, and that at one Portland chapter member told her he had already done so.