Rosa Scarcelli spoke to about 100 of her campaign staffers, supporters and friends at the Portland Harbor Hotel.

She thanked all of them and said she intends to be a player in Maine politics for the years to come, even if she does not win the Democratic Party’s nomination in tonight’s election.

“We’ve changed the conversation, we’ve elevated the game and at the end of the day we’ve got a great future.’

“I hope it’s tomorrow,” Scarcelli said, indicating that her deficit from early results could turn around as the night goes on.

“This has been an amazing experience and we have run a phenomenal campaign,” she said.

Scarcelli arrived at the hotel around 10:30 p.m. with her family, and she was greated by chants of “Rosa, Rosa.”

10:20 p.m.

PORTLAND — The mood is reserved but optimistic at the Portland Harbor Hotel, where about 100 supporters of Rosa Scarcelli are watching the vote results come in.

Scarcelli is expected to arrive around 10:30 p.m.

Early results show Scarcelli, who ran as the outsider in a race composed mostly of Augusta veterans, trailing Libby Mitchell and Steve Rowe by about 10 points, and leading Pat McGowan.

Campaign spokesman Dennis Bailey said the early results, a large percentage of which are from Portland, were expected to favor the other candidates, particularly Rowe.

“It’s early. It’s not in our strong places yet,” Bailey said.

Untallied precincts in Androscoggin and York counties will go a long way toward telling Scarcelli’s camp whether they can compete tonight.

“I think we’re in the hunt,” Bailey said. “We’ve got to wait and see some of the more rural numbers.”

8:29 p.m.

PORTLAND — About a dozen supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli are mingling at the Portland Harbor Hotel at this hour, preparing for what is being billed as a “Win-Win Party.”

“We’re calling it that because no matter what the results, we feel that Rosa has come in and done a great job. Here is someone with no background in politics who has run a terrific campaign against some very experienced politicians,” said Sarah Serling, a scheduler for the campaign.

Serling and other staffers believe Scarcelli will compete as tonight’s results come in.

Scarcelli has made stops this afternoon in Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough, and she planned to head home and watch the early results come in. She is expected to arrive at the hotel later tonight.

The supporters at this hour are having drinks at the hotel bar, as organizers put the final touches on a reception room and a press room where Scarcelli will speak later. The rooms are decked out in orange and blue posters.

“It was just a blast today,” said campaign manager Patsy Wiggins. “We were doing get out the vote calls, mostly focused on the undecided voters. We have made thousands of calls.”