WASHINGTON — Maine’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention includes longtime party stalwarts and some relatively new faces.

But as was the case with state Republicans in Tampa last week, Maine’s highest-ranking Democratic office-holders and some candidates for higher office are skipping the national convention.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, 1st Congressional District, and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, 2nd District, decided not to attend, as did state Sen. Cynthia Dill, who is running for Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat this November. Michaud and Pingree face Republican challengers in November.

Willy Ritch, Pingree’s spokesman, said the congresswoman attended a Labor Day campaign event in Portland on Monday, and planned to do other work in Maine this week before returning to Washington for next week’s House sessions.

Michaud was making appearances throughout the district — including six separate stops in the Lewiston-Auburn area scheduled for Thursday — as part of a “Make it in Maine” manufacturing tour. Although not officially part of his re-election campaign, the tour comes at a time when jobs and job creation are arguably the top political issues in Maine and across the country.

“August is traditionally a time when the congressman is able to spend some in-depth time with Mainers,” said Michaud Ed Gilman.

Dill was spending the week campaigning, although her absence is not necessarily surprising.

The Cape Elizabeth lawmaker has had a rocky relationship with some national Democratic leaders in recent months. Dill has not received any support from the national party, and in polls is far behind former Gov. Angus King — an independent with strong Democratic leanings on some issues.

But not all Maine Democratic leaders stayed home. Convention delegates include Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins of Saco and House Minority Leader Rep. Emily Cain of Orono, as well as former Attorney General Janet Mills. 

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

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