Monday, December 9, 2013
Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, has nixed recent calls that she leave the race, lest she become a spoiler and give the race to Republican nominee Charlie Summers.
Dill has been polling far behind her rivals and appears a longshot to win the race. Many centrist and left-of-center voters fear a repeat of the 2010 gubernatorial contest, in which their vote split, the right's did not, and Paul LePage captured the Blaine House.
I interviewed Dill last week for a biographical profile -- out in Sunday's paper -- and asked her about the issue. She expressed astonishment that a major party nominee would be asked to leave the race weeks before election day, pointing out that Eliot Culter had lower polling numbers than she has at the same stage in their respective campaigns, yet nearly won the 2010 gubernatorial election.
"For people who suggest I should stand down, my response is: who is going to stand up for the values I bring to the table? It's not Angus King," she said, echoing previous remarks on the subject. "He's not fighting for working families and civil justice and economic justice."
But then, having slammed the door on the idea, she opened it a crack.
"In terms of the horse counting - the horse race, however you want to term it - it's too early to be asking," she said.
"What I tell people is: maybe there will be some last minute deal. You know, I'm a dealmaker. I settled large cases on the eve of trial," Dill, who is an attorney, added. "Maybe there will be something. But it won't be unless someone is willing - - Angus King needs to be clean with people and straight, because right now he's plaing this game" regarding which party he will caucus with.
If the polling numbers continue to tighten, expect Dill's phone to start ringing.
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or email@example.com
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org