State Sen. Cynthia Dill capped a stunning darkhorse run for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate with a convincing win in Tuesday's statewide primary.
With 84 percent of the vote counted, Dill bested former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap 45 percent to 35 percent. Dill was the only statewide candidate in either party to get more than 20,000 votes, finishing a stellar campaign which began with few pundits giving her a chance.
The landslide win capped a months-long campaign in which Dill stressed her record of fighting for working families, standing up to special interests and creating quality jobs while promising to make choices that better educate children, protect seniors and strengthen our economy.
"We won by appealing to working-class Mainers fed up with being represented by out-of-touch millionaires," Dill said to her supporters during a rousing victory party Tuesday night at Bayside Bowl in Portland. "We criss-crossed the state, made thousands of phone calls, listened to the concerns of voters, and visited them when they went to the polls. In short, no one worked harder, and that's the attitude I will bring to the U.S. Senate.
"My core values are economic, environmental and social justice. I believe government should work for the people and provide an equal opportunity for all Americans to succeed. In the end, that's what resonated with Democrats who voted, and I think that's what will unite Democrats behind my candidacy in the fall.
"If anyone, including Angus King, doubts the Democratic brand is back, or that we have what it takes to win the U.S. Senate seat for working-class Mainers, I have one message: Bring it on."
In a short victory speech, Dill credited her staff, volunteers and the "tremendous slate of Democratic candidates I was fortunate to be running with" for her win.
She will appear this morning on several TV and radio shows to discuss her victory and her plan to unite Democrats to defeat King and represent Maine in the U.S. Senate.
"Democrats and others who counted us out of the primary must plan to invest in this race, or face the prospect of another one-percenter representing them in the U.S. Senate," she said.