2012-06-15 / Community

Cape’s Cynthia Dill takes Decmocratic primary

By Jack Flagler Staff Writer

Cape Elizabeth resident Cynthia Dill will be the democratic nominee for Maine’s representative to the U.S. Senate in November and, in Tuesday’s primary elections, another Cape Elizabeth Democrat won the right to vie for Dill’s former seat in the state Legislature.

Rebecca Millett defeated Bryan Kaenrath of South Portland to earn the democratic nomination to District 7 in the State Senate by a final vote of 1,523 to 926. Millett, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment, will move on to challenge Republican nominee Gary Crosby of South Portland in November. Crosby ran for his party’s nomination unopposed.

Voters in Cape Elizabeth also overwhelmingly made the decision to validate the $21.8 million school budget that the town council approved on May 14. Seventy-one percent of voters chose to approve the budget. A majority of voters also approved of the budget in a second, non-binding resolution, in which 950 voters said the budget was acceptable, 603 said it was too high and 192 said it was too low.

Karen Holmes, a registered Republican who lives on Olde Colony Lane in Cape Elizabeth, said she didn’t follow the school budget issue too closely, but she does have children in school so she felt it was important to vote to approve it.

“I’m not a big believer in raising (the budget) every year, even though it seems like that’s what they’re doing. But I did accept it,” Holmes said.

In the U.S. Senate primary, Dill won the right to contend in November for the seat Olympia Snowe will vacate. She will challenge Republican nominee Charlie Summers and independent candidates, including former governor Angus King.

Not surprisingly, Dill was especially strong in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth and neighboring city South Portland. In Cape Elizabeth, 67 percent of Democrats who voted for a U.S. Senate candidate chose Dill, and in South Portland, she received 65 percent of the vote.

Dill said she will “hit the ground running” in transitioning from the primary to the general election. While the audience following the election will grow wider, she said her message of progressive politics and “a new generation of leadership in Washington” will remain the same.

“What I stand for – universal access to health care, reducing the military budget, creating jobs — really resonates in this era of economic inequality,” she said.

Anne Pokras, a registered Democrat from Bowery Beach Road in Cape Elizabeth, explained why she chose Dill over the other candidates.

“I like her politics. I think she’s very committed and she’ll really dedicate to what she’s got to do down there. It’s not going to be easy,” Pokras said.

Voter turnout across the state was expected to be low, and that was the case in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth. In South Portland, 12 percent, or 2,278 of the city’s 18,248 registered voters, came to the polls on Tuesday. Cape Elizabeth fared slightly better, about 24 percent of the town’s roughly 7,500 voters cast ballots.

Jack Flagler can be reached at 282-4337 ext. 219.

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