LEWISTON – In the hours after President George W. Bush won re-election, Bates College junior Andrew Stowe lamented John Kerry’s loss.

Then, he savored his local party’s strength. Local Democrats lost the election, but they won the state. It was something to build on, Stowe and his friends decided.

So they are planning to rally at Kennedy Park on Saturday, gathering people from a variety of liberal and progressive groups.

Invitations have been sent to unions, local Democrats and the Maine People’s Alliance among others.

“We don’t want this to be another gathering of just Bates students,” said Stowe, a junior.

He is billing the event as a “peaceful, progressive, pro-Maine rally,” one that focuses on the values and concerns of Mainers.

Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the issue of ideas, suggesting that conservatives tilted the election in their favor by appealing to people’s values.

In a way, that’s what Stowe hopes to do.

He hopes to gather people with a variety of concerns, from employment and the economy to health care and the environment, issues that might highlight the values of Mainers.

He expects a decent crowd to attend, Stowe said. After all, groups within the state joined together for the election.

Nationally, Bush won the popular vote by 51 percent to 48 percent. But in Maine, the vote was 45 percent for Bush and 53 percent for Kerry.

“We need to build on what we’ve done right,” Stowe said, acknowledging that there would likely be some bitterness expressed at the election’s outcome. But that will accomplish nothing, he said.

“It would be easy to talk about all the things that Bush has done wrong,” Stowe said.

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