Elections 2018

Democrats vye for gubernatorial delegates at Sunday caucuses

Posted:  Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 7:30am

Eleven Democratic candidates are competing to run for governor this Sunday, March 4, at the statewide Democratic caucuses. In Lincoln County, Democrats will meet at several locations, staggered throughout the day. They are:

Wiscasset Elementary School, 83 Federal St., Wiscasset. Doors open at 12:30 p.m., caucuses begin at 1 p.m. for Alna and Wiscasset.

Boothbay Region High School, 236 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., caucuses begin at 2 p.m. for Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, Southport and Westport Island.

Great Salt Bay School, 559 Main St., Damariscotta. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., caucuses begin at 2 p.m. for Bremen, Damariscotta, Newcastle and Nobleboro.

Bristol Consolidated School, 2153 Bristol Road, Bristol. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., caucuses begin at 4 p.m. for Bristol and South Bristol.

Woolwich Central School, 137 Nequasset Road, Woolwich. Doors open at 2 p.m., caucuses begin at 2:30 p.m. for Dresden, and for Woolwich in Sagadahoc County.

Jefferson Village School, 48 Washington Road, Jefferson. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., caucuses begin at 6 p.m. for Jefferson, Somerville and Whitefield.

Waldoboro Town Office, 1600 Atlantic Highway, Waldoboro. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., caucus begins at 5 p.m. for Waldoboro.

Monhegan Plantation canceled its caucus. There was no word as to how it will select its delegate.

It is necessary to be enrolled in the Democratic Party to vote at the caucuses or to serve as a delegate, an alternate, or as a caucus official. Voters will select delegates to the state convention May 18-20 at The Colisee in Lewiston. Only then will the selection of the gubernatorial candidate be official.

Two Democratic gubernatorial candidates dropped out over the Feb. 24-25 weekend, James Boyle, an environmental consultant from Gorham, and Bangor city councilor  and former mayor Sean Faircloth. Faircloth endorsed candidate Mark Eves. Others may exit the race before the March 15 deadline if they are unable to obtain enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

Those currently in the race include:

  • Adam Cote of Sanford. Cote ran for the first district in Congress in 2008 and lost to Chellie Pingree in the primary. He is a veteran who served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is an attorney at Drummond Woodsum. Cote said his goal is to grow the economy, particularly in rural Maine and former mill towns, and he would focus on infrastructure, and workforce training. He said he wants to bring respect back to the way government operates. He would expand MaineCare to an additional 70,000 Mainers, and supports the “right of a woman to make her own health care choices.” He also said he would declare the opioid crisis an emergency, and join the National Governor’s Association Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction.
  • Dominic Crocitto of Winterport. Crocitto said he was eyeing tidal underwater turbines to power Maine. He would also like all power lines buried to prevent power outages. Crocitto would encourage youth to serve in the Army at the age of 17, with the provision they not see combat until the age of 21. He said the Democratic Party has to do more to advance the cause of peace in the world.
  • Donna Dion of Biddeford. She was mayor of Biddeford for six years, and remains on the school board. She sums up her candidacy as “respect.” She said respect is the foundation of all collaboration to get things done. Her focus would be health care, along with education.
  • Mark Dion of Portland. He was most recently Sheriff of Cumberland County, and spent many years in the Legislature. He is a lawyer in private practice. He considers the current work environment for state workers “hostile” and would work to reverse the hits he said have occurred to the state workforce during this administration. He is also very concerned about the opioid crisis in Maine, and said the state needs long term recovery issues, including housing and medical treatment. He would allow the community to buy in to MaineCare as a public option for health care. He is also focused on helping rejuvenate Maine’s trade education schools.
  • Steven DeAngeles of Readfield. DeAngeles is a high school science teacher and nordic ski coach. He said he is running as a clean elections candidate, primarily to make a point about money in politics and how harmful it can be. He hopes to reinvigorate a feeling of respect in government, and get people to work together and build coalitions from the start. “I’m a Democrat who wants to work across the aisle,” he said.
  • Patrick Eisenhart of Augusta. Eisenhart is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander and has spent many years working in agencies and health care-related businesses that worked closely with the Maine and New Hampshire legislatures. His focus is on health care, specifically focusing on recertifying Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, and developing community mental health care programs within primary care facilities.  He also believes comprehensive health care should be part of home health care options for seniors and the disabled.
  • Mark Eves of North Berwick. Eves is a former legislator and was ranking minority leader for a term and Speaker of the House for two terms. He is a family therapist. Eves said his focus as governor would be job creation, increasing workers’ wages, and dealing with the opioid crisis in a comprehensive approach – treatment, prevention and education. Eves is in favor of single payer health care, and plans to get Maine’s electricity grid on 100 percent renewables within 10 years.
  • Janet Mills of Farmington. Mills has served as Attorney General since 2008, the first woman ever to hold that position. She founded the Maine Women’s Lobby to advocate for battered and abused women. She also served in the Maine House after being elected in 2002. She said she would focus on the opioid crisis, by expanding treatment slots, making naloxone available to anyone who needs it, and increasing education and healthy alternatives. She would expand MaineCare and implement ranked choice voting, protect women’s rights, add options to keep guns out of dangerous hands, protect clean air and water efforts, and work to keep the internet open and free.
  • Diane Russell of Portland. Russell served in the Maine House for eight years. She championed ranked choice voting and led the effort to legalize marijuana. As governor, she would work for working families and rural Mainers who are getting left behind. She said she would advocate for higher wages, affordable health care, and to eradicate opioid addiction. She is also a proponent of universal public college education.
  • Betsy Sweet of Hallowell. Sweet is a clean elections candidate and cites money in politics as a significant problem. “How we run is how we govern,” she said. Sweet works in the nonprofit sector, and helped found the Dirigo Alliance, the Maine Center for Economic Policy, and the Women's Legislative Agenda Coalition, among other groups. She believes the people closest to the problem are those closest to the solution, and thus she favors regional economic development. She wants teacher pay to increase, and wants to encourage collaboration and innovation, and allow students to do a year of public service in exchange for two years of tuition credits. She sees the opioid crisis as a health care issue and a “community belonging” issue. She helped write the Clean Elections Act.
  • J. Martin Vachon of Mariaville. Vachon has run twice before, once as a Democrat and once as a Republican, losing to John Baldacci and Paul LePage in the primaries. He said if elected he will focus on raising the level of human discipline and protecting the traditional family. He believes the government has lost its focus on the Constitution, and he would return to constitutional precepts to “bring out the best capabilities in everyone.” He would also focus on making hydroelectricity Maine’s major electricity source.