February 23

Maine Democrats to hold caucuses on March 2

The Maine Democratic Party will hold caucuses in towns and cities across the state to elect state delegates and rally support for the party’s candidates.

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The Maine Democratic Party plans to hold its local caucuses across the state on Sunday, March 2, rallying and launching local efforts to elect the party’s candidates in November.

Kennebec County Democratic caucus start times and locations

Albion: 3 p.m., Besse Building

Augusta: 2 p.m., Augusta City Hall’s Fort Western Room

Belgrade: 1 p.m., North Belgrade Community Center

Benton: 1 p.m., Benton Town Office

Chelsea: 2 p.m., Chelsea Town Office

China: 2 p.m., China Town Office

Clinton: 1 p.m., Clinton Town Office

Farmingdale: 3 p.m., Farmingdale Town Office

Fayette: 2 p.m., Fayette Central School

Gardiner: 1:30 p.m., Boys & Girls Club of Greater Gardiner

Hallowell: 3 p.m., Hallowell City Hall

Litchfield: noon, Litchfield Town Hall

Manchester: 1 p.m., Manchester fire station

Monmouth: 2 p.m., Monmouth Town Office

Mount Vernon: 1 p.m., North Belgrade Community Center

Oakland: 3 p.m., Williams School cafeteria

Pittston: 3 p.m., Pittston Town Hall

Randolph: 1 p.m., Randolph Town Office

Readfield: 2:30 p.m., Readfield Town Hall

Rome: 9 a.m., Rome Community Center

Sidney: 1 p.m., Sidney Town Office

Vassalboro: 2 p.m., Vassalboro Town Office

Vienna: 1:30 p.m., Vienna Fire Department community room

Waterville: 4 p.m., Waterville High School

Wayne: 2 p.m., Wayne Elementary School

West Gardiner: 7 p.m., West Gardiner Town Office

Windsor: 6 p.m., Windsor Town Hall

Winslow: 2 p.m., Winslow fire station

Winthrop: 7 p.m., Winthrop Town Office

For times and locations of caucuses statewide, visit mainedems.org/caucus.

Democratic caucuses are held in towns and cities every two years to elect state convention delegates, municipal committee officers and county committee members.

Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, said the caucuses also serve to gather local help and give people an opportunity to meet the candidates, who usually collect nominating petition signatures to get on the ballot.

He said party staff have begun implementing plans for the upcoming election, and caucuses allow the party to rally people to volunteer to help in the effort.

“It’s a great way to get our activist to really start focusing on the fall election,” Grant said.

The main focus of the party and its resources will be the gubernatorial race, he said, which is expected to be a three-way contest among Republican Gov. Paul LePage, independent Eliot Cutler and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District.

“The imperative of getting rid of Paul LePage is high,” Grant said.

The locations and times of all caucuses are listed on the Maine Democratic Party’s website. Kennebec County Republicans held their county convention earlier this month.

The chairwoman of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, Rita Moran, said the caucuses are the foundation of the campaign to get Democratic candidates elected.

Besides electing delegates to the state convention, each municipality in the county will elect four to 12 members to the county committee, depending on population, she said.

Moran, who plans to run for re-election as chairwoman, said the caucuses also give people a chance to ask candidates questions in person and meet other like-minded people in their area.

“There is nothing like looking at a candidate in the eyes and asking a question and looking at how they answer,” she said.

Moran said it can be difficult for some people to find time to help, so the party is planning to set up more local phone banks to allow people to volunteer closer to where they work or live.

“I think one of the challenges that anyone faces, and this is not a partisan thing, is to have people understand that the work that they do to elect candidates really matters,” she said.

Moran also encouraged people to bring their checkbooks because candidates probably will be asking for their $5 donations to be eligible for Maine Clean Election Act funds.

Paul Koenig — 207-621-5663 pkoenig@centralmaine.com Twitter: @paul_koenig
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