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Maine Democrats gather in Bangor for convention

The Maine Democratic Party is kicking off campaign season at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

BANGOR, Maine — Maine's top Democrats will be hard at work this weekend for the party's first convention in four years.

Priorities for the party are housing, healthcare, education, and reproductive freedom.

"We have a really good story to tell, and this is a place for us to gather together and be able to tell it," Drew Gattine, chair of the Maine Democratic Party, said. 

Front of mind for his party? Abortion.

"I think you're going to hear about it a lot. I can tell you in the last week-and-a-half this has really energized us," Gattine said.

After the Roe Vs. Wade draft opinion was leaked about two weeks ago, Maine Democrats have put in its party platform that, "People have the right to safety, bodily autonomy, and reproductive justice. These encompass the entire spectrum of reproductive care, including abortion."

While abortion will be the highlight of the weekend, the party also is highlighting LGBTQ+ rights.

"Unlike the hateful Republican Party, the Democrats are going to keep saying gay," Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, Ryan Fecteau, said. 

This comes after the Maine GOP voted on its party platform to ban sex ed in Maine schools.

"What that plank says to Maine children is that the Maine Republican Party is attempting to say that they are the party of hate," Fecteau said.

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, shared a different message while still getting Maine Democrats on their feet.

"In the oldest state in America, the stakes are high for my constituents," Golden said.

Golden wasted no time taking jabs at former Congressman Bruce Poliquin, a potential challenger.

"Bruce Poliquin can try to rewrite history all he wants, but the truth is when he was in Congress he repeatedly voted to cut Medicare and Social Security," Golden said.

Citing votes like Poliquin's in 2017, when he voted to repeal former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

It's not an automatic rematch between Golden and Poliquin. Poliquin has to get through a primary next month against newcomer Liz Caruso.

On deck for Saturday, Maine Democrats will hear from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Gov. Janet Mills as the convention continues.

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