July 3, 2012

Democratic Senate candidates promise King a fight

The four Democrats seeking the nomination appeal for support and attack the GOP and former Gov. Angus King.

By John Richardson jrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gives the keynote address at the Maine Democratic convention Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Photos by Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

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Senate candidate Cynthia Dill speaks at the Maine Democratic Convention today. Dill said Democrats can’t shy from a fight with independent candidate Angus King out of fear that it could help the Republican candidate win.

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"Clearly I'm very different from the other candidates who have spoken to you," said Pollard, who did not have sign-waving supporters accompany him to the stage and asked the crowd to hold its applause until the end.

Pollard said he wants to promote peace and ecological sustainability. "We are so far on the wrong track right now in the damage we are doing to the Earth and each other. We really need to go in a dramatically different direction."

While Pollard didn't criticize King, he said he is best equipped to beat him. "We need somebody different. I am different," he said.

Also Saturday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley delivered the convention's keynote speech and urged Maine Democrats to help send President Obama back to the White House this fall.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would take America back to the policies of George W. Bush, O'Malley said.

"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be ... I say we move forward with Barack Obama," he said, drawing cheers from the delegates.

O'Malley, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, drew more applause when he referred to the Republicans in Washington as the "constipation Congress" who "wouldn't pass gas if they might help our president heal our economy."

And delegates clapped and cheered when O'Malley took aim at Maine Gov. Paul LePage, calling him one of the tea party governors that he and other national leaders are working to replace over the next two years.

"I believe you can win back your governor's office, and the Democratic Governor's Association wants to see you do that in the not so distant future," he said.

O'Malley's visit drew a critical news release from LePage's political adviser, Brent Littlefield.

The release included details of tax and spending increases in Maryland during O'Malley's term and featured a Maryland county executive talking about the harm to working families.

"Martin O'Malley's record is full of massive taxes and failed economics," the news release said.

After his speech, O'Malley responded by saying Maryland has seen strong job growth and big improvements in education because of investments his administration made. He said LePage is one of the "tea party governors who worship the false idol of tax cuts. ... Let's see which of us has a better record of job growth in the days ahead."

The party's convention concludes today with the election of national committee members and other business.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:


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Senate candidate Matt Dunlap told the crowd Democrats should not “settle for something less to prevent something worse.”

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Senate candidate Jon Hinck gets the whispered word from his wife, Juliet Browne, that his speaking time is running out. Hinck, who highlighted his record as an environmental activist, said Democrats can’t settle for electing King because he supports Republican causes.

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Senate candidate Ben Pollard Pollard said he is the best equipped to beat King. "We need somebody different. I am different," he said.

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