Cape Elizabeth Democrat considers running against Snowe

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 02, 2012, at 7:25 p.m.

Sen. Olympia Snowe may have another would-be challenger.

State Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, wrote on her blog over the holiday weekend that she is weighing whether to join the two other Democrats hoping to unseat the three-term Republican senator during this November’s general election.

“Not since George Mitchell have we had a Democratic Senator in Washington fighting for the middle class and taking a stand for good people struggling to find and keep jobs, put food on their table and protect their families,” Dill wrote. “The Republican Party is out of touch with the challenges American families are faced with, and quickly becoming more and more extremist and obstructionist.”

Dill, who could not be reached for comment Monday, asked for the public’s feedback on whether she should join the race.

Any Democrat that appears on the November ballot would almost certainly face a difficult campaign should Snowe succeed in recapturing the GOP nomination given the veteran senator’s popularity among Mainers.

Two Republicans — Scott D’Amboise of Lisbon Falls and Andrew Ian Dodge of Harpswell — are hoping to knock off Snowe during the Republican primary.

But neither D’Amboise nor Dodge appear to have captured the hearts of many Republican loyalists in the state, despite the fact that Snowe occasionally receives higher approval ratings from Democrats and independents than from members of her own party. And Snowe is a fierce campaigner with a sizable campaign war chest.

If she decides to join the race, Dill would by vying for the Democratic nomination against former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap of Old Town and Rep. Jon Hinck of Portland.

An attorney, Dill represented Cape Elizabeth for two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Last year, during her third term in the House, she won election to the state Senate to fill the seat vacated by fellow Democratic Sen. Larry Bliss, who stepped down to take an out-of-state job.

Dill has been a frequent speaker on the House and Senate floor during her time in Augusta and occasionally stirs things up through her writings on her blog and as a contributor to the liberal-leaning Huffington Post website.

Earlier this fall, Dill caused some controversy when she formed an organization to support conservationist Roxanne Quimby’s offer to donate 70,000 acres of her own land in the Katahdin region to the federal government to create a Maine Woods national park. Some Millinocket-area opponents of Quimby’s proposal, however, questioned why a Cape Elizabeth lawmaker was getting so involved in the debate over a North Woods park.

Hinck’s campaign, meanwhile, issued a statement Monday welcoming Dill’s possible entrance to the race while attempting to label Snowe as beholden to special-interest groups.

“In this critical election year, the people of Maine have the opportunity to clearly state that they are fed up with a Congress that puts powerful special interests ahead of working people,” the campaign said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/02/politics/cape-elizabeth-democrat-considers-running-against-snowe/ printed on December 27, 2014