October 31, 2012

Cynthia Dill, Democrat: Amid obstacles, time taken to serve needy

Dill challenges the idea that she's a spoiler, then breaks from campaigning to make lunch for her kids.

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Cynthia Dill talks with Skip Clark, center, and Janet Saurman, right, at a campaign fundraiser at the Run of the Mill Public House in Saco last Friday. Dill has worked to dispel the idea that voting for her will help elect Republican Charlie Summers.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Cynthia Dill checks email on her laptop after returning home from a run in Cape Elizabeth. Each day of campaigning has been different, she says, whether traveling around the state or working from home or meeting voters at various events.

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"Potatoes?" she asked each person. Some nodded silently or held out their plates. Others smiled and said thank you. One man rolled his eyes when he saw the cabbage. He came back for seconds.

For Dill, each face had the same significance.

"It reminds me why I'm in this race," she said with wet eyes. "It reminds me how much work has to be done."

Dill took time to go home and make lunch for her teenage son and daughter, who had the day off from school because of parent-teacher conferences. Then it was off to Sanford with her three young female staffers – recent college graduates who had responded to Dill's job posting on Craigslist.

They met state Rep. Andrea Boland, Dill's friend and a fellow Democrat, at Aroma Joe's Coffee on Washington Street and, from there, took a tour of Sanford's downtown businesses.

They stopped at Bergeron's Shoes, where Dill sucked on a candy from a jar while Richard Bergeron told her about the custom orthotics made in the basement. Dill, whose bunions have forced her to rethink her footwear, promised she'd be back.

That afternoon, Dill and her staff checked out crafts by seniors at the Old Timers Shop, talked to waitresses at the Third Alarm Diner and crossed the Mousam River to the York County Community Action Corp.

All along the way, Dill told the people she met to remember her name when they got into the voting booth. "Like dill pickle," she said.

That was something she didn't have to repeat to the people she met with next. In a private room at The Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery in Saco, Dill was surrounded by a couple dozen of her biggest supporters, who chatted over cocktails and crudites.

It was a quick fundraising event. Everyone was out of the restaurant by 7 p.m., which worked out well for Dill, who planned to attend a breakfast at 6:30 the next morning at the Maine State Employees Association's convention at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland.

There has been no typical daily schedule during the campaign, she said, walking to her car in the brew pub's parking lot. On any given day, she may be traveling across the state, working from home or meeting voters.

Through it all, she said, she's learned a lot about Maine and its people. And regardless of the results on Nov. 6, she plans to keep trying to help them.

"I definitely know I'm going to wake up on Nov. 7 and go to work," she said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: lbridgers@pressherald.com

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