BETHEL — Members of the Oxford County Democrats recently participated in two events: a field trip to the Statehouse on March 30 and the appearance by President Obama in Portland on April 1.
The field trip included recognition in the House and Senate chambers during the sessions; a visit with Senate President Libby Mitchell, organized by Sen. Bruce Bryant; and a visit with Speaker Hannah Pingree, organized by Reps. Terry Hayes, Matt Peterson, Sheryl Briggs and Helen Rankin.
The group of 13 met with Attorney General Janet Mills and Secretary of State Matt Dunlap in the Attorney General’s office and received a briefing from both officials on the functions of their offices. The day concluded with a visit with Gov. John Baldacci at which the he shared stories of his visits to Oxford County and discussed the passage of the budget that had just been approved in the House and Senate. The attendees on the trip included individuals from Norway, Greenwood, Buckfield, Rumford, Peru, Bethel and Dixfield.
Many from Oxford County made the trip to Portland to volunteer as helpers for Obama’s visit, or to wait in line for many hours for tickets to the event. Volunteers included Jimmy McHugh of Mexico, Henry Hamilton of Oxford, Bob Kirchherr of South Paris, and a partial list of attendees sighted in the crowd included Cathy Newell of Greenwood, Linda Ray and Chloe Bergman-Ray of West Paris, Marcel Polak and Emily Ecker of Woodstock, David Dexter of Norway, Lanette Bryant of Dixfield, Rep. Sheryl Briggs and granddaughter Grace of Mexico, Rep. Matt Peterson of Rumford, Rep. Terry Hayes of Buckfield and Rep. Helen Rankin of Hiram. Senate 13 candidate Laura Ordway of Bridgton also attended.
The Rev. Anne Stanley of Paris gave the Invocation and was accompanied by her husband David.
The Oxford County Democrats will hold a lasagna dinner and a “Meet the Candidates” event on Tuesday, April 20, at the Locke Mills Legion. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., and dinner at 6. Following the meal there will be a gubernatorial forum focusing on issues of special interest to young people. Confirmed candidates include Libby Mitchell and John Richardson.
Dinner tickets are $10, and a host committee is being formed to keep the ticket price modest and provide for a successful fundraiser. Tickets may be reserved by in advance by calling County Chairwoman Cathy Newell at 875-2116, and they will also be sold at the door. Advance reservations are appreciated to assist in planning.