GARDINER — Dan Paradee, longtime spokesman for Maine Turnpike Authority, died at his home today following a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 54.

A New Jersey native, Paradee came to Maine to work on Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign and stayed to serve as a public information officer in the Maine Senate majority office for several years.

Paradee worked for the turnpike authority for 15 years, overseeing public information campaigns for the widening and other projects.

Paradee may be best known for delivering Labor Day traffic counts to local reporters. Each year he also donned a moose suit, stationed himself at the York toll plaza and doled out token gifts to tourists leaving the state.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.