AUGUSTA – Democrats in Kennebec County will meet next week to pick a replacement candidate in the Senate District 21 race now that Rep. Nancy Smith, D-Monmouth, has decided not to run.

Smith had signed up to run but dropped out after taking a job in April as executive director of GrowSmart Maine.

“This job came up and it was the perfect job,” she said.

Smith, who served eight years in the Maine House and was most recently chairwoman of the Legislature’s Business, Research and Economic Development Committee, said she will miss legislative service but could not juggle the job and a Senate seat.

As a result, Democrats are looking for a candidate to take on Sen. Earle McCormick, R-West Gardiner, in the November election. All 35 Senate seats are on the ballot this year.

Senate District 21 covers Pittston, Randolph, Chelsea, Gardiner, West Gardiner, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Manchester, Winthrop, Monmouth and Litchfield. McCormick has held the seat for four years but for 10 years before that, it was occupied by Democrats: two years by Scott Cowger and eight years by Rep. Sharon Treat, both of Hallowell.

Rita Moran, Kennebec County Democratic Committee chairwoman, wrote in a news release that the June 30 caucus will be open and competitive.

“Any registered Democrat who lives in the district is invited to compete to be on the ballot in November, and several people have already expressed strong interest,” she wrote. “All potential candidates will have the opportunity to speak, and answer questions from attendees.”

Any Democrat can attend the caucus, but only those who live in the district can vote for a nominee. The caucus will be held at 6:30 p.m. June 30 at Hall-Dale Elementary in Hallowell.

 

MaineToday Media State House Reporter Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: [email protected]