Maine Democrats meet in Kittery to spur party faithful
By Deborah McDermott
March 27, 2006
KITTERY, Maine - A Who's Who of Democratic leaders from Maine as well as York County were in Kittery Sunday night for a house party that was part social gathering, part clarion call to action for November and beyond. Gov. John Baldacci was joined by Maine Speaker of the House John Richardson, D-Brunswick, Attorney General Steven Rowe, Majority Leader Glenn Cummings, D-Portland, U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright and local legislators and candidates at the Kittery home of Gillian Carter.

The evening was planned by Kittery Town Democratic Committee members as a way to energize the local party faithful.

For the first time since the Civil War, said District Attorney Mark Lawrence, the Democrats are the majority party in Kittery. And Committee Vice Chairman Bruce Allen said the committee wants to seize upon that fact as "a way to unify and galvanize people to get out the vote. You do what you can this fall to work toward 2008, because the stakes couldn't be higher." And this fall, Baldacci said, he is looking to Kittery and its Democratic base.

"You are doing a tremendous job day in and day out," he said to the 40 or so people in the room. "Thank you for the opportunity to be your governor."

With a nod to the Democratic leaders in the room, Baldacci outlined what he said were the highlights of his first term in office, one that "couldn't have been done without a Democratic majority in the House and Senate." He listed his Dirigo Health program, efforts to preserve open space including Mount Agamenticus in York, and the creation of the community college system as among the efforts he said mark the legacy of his first term in office.

"I need four more years to keep working for Maine," he said.

Another speaker during the evening was Peter Bowman, who is running for state Senate from District 1, the seat currently held by Republican Mary Andrews of York who will not seek re-election. Bowman, former commander of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, asked the crowd for its support.

The House leadership came at the request of state Rep. Walter Wheeler who greeted everyone by name throughout the night.

"It is a great evening," he said.