South Portland, Cape Elizabeth candidates enter state Senate race

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A South Portland business owner and a former chairwoman of the Cape Elizabeth School Board have entered the race to replace Maine Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth.

Gary Crosby and Rebecca Millett have filed with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices as Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively. Millett has filed with the intention of using Clean Election funds; Crosby plans to run a privately financed campaign.

Each seeks to replace Dill, who is completing a partial term in the district covering South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and the eastern portion of Scarborough.

Crosby is the only Republican to file so far for the District 7 seat, while Millett will face state Rep. Bryan Kaenrath, D-South Portland, in the June 12 Democratic primary.

Crosby is the owner of local businesses and real estate, and recently circulated a petition urging South Portland city councilors to give up their city-funded health care benefits. He was also a supporter of a failed 2009 city referendum to ban dogs at Willard Beach and ran for City Council the same year, losing to Councilor Rosemarie De Angelis.

Millett spent 6 1/2 years on the Cape Elizabeth School Board, is a former Peace Corps volunteer, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Kaenrath is completing his third two-year term representing House District 124, primarily north and west of Route 1 in South Portland. Kaenrath was first elected to the House in 2006 and now serves on the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee.

The winner of the Nov. 6 general election will become the third person to represent Senate District 7 since former Sen. Larry Bliss, a Democrat, won the seat in 2010.

Bliss resigned in April 2011 to take a job in California. Dill then defeated Republican Louis Maietta Jr. last May in a special election to fill the remainder of the two-year term.

Dill is a candidate to replace U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. As of Wednesday, Dill’s Democratic opponents in the June 12 primary were former Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow David on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Gary Crosby of South Portland

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.