Thursday August 16, 2012 | 02:22 PM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Dill is getting some help from former Gov. John Baldacci.

Baldacci, who flirted his own run for the open Senate seat, sent out a fundraising appeal for Dill this morning. Politico's Alexander Burns blogged about it earlier today and we got a copy of the appeal soon after.

As Burns points out, Baldacci is one of the first big-name Democrats to come out so visibly to help Dill, who has been running a distant third in recent polls.

Dill has criticized national Democratic officials for snubbing her campaign and for tacitly supporting the independent candidate, former Gov. Angus King. Some Maine Democrats, including sitting lawmakers, have publicly endorsed King over Dill.

Maine party leaders, however, have maintained that Dill has the support of the party establishment. The boost from Baldacci appears to back that up.

It may be no coincidence that Baldacci followed King into office as governor just as the state's economy was stalling and the state budget was getting ugly.

In his fundraising letter, Baldacci writes that Pres. Obama and the Democrats in the U.S. Senate need help.

"Can you contribute $12 to help Cynthia and to make sure Democrats maintain the majority in the U.S. Senate?

"I've known Cynthia for many years and to she's proven to be a strong advocate for her community, for progressive values and for expanding  access to opportunity throughout Maine....

"P.S. This race isn't over. Not by a long shot."

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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