AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The stage is literally set for 1,500 Democrats at the Augusta Civic Center. The three-day convention will see party activists celebrating their chance to re-elect President Obama, but will also focus lots of attention on their hope to take back control of the Maine Legislature.
Democrats held power in the Legislature for decades, but were suddenly swept out of office two years ago. Republicans now run the House and Senate, and Republican Governor Paul LePage in the Blaine House. Democratic leaders say that is providing a "laser focus" for the 2012 campaign. Party Chairman Ben Grant says Executive Director Mary Erin Casale says "People have had two years of it. I think they're fed up and will make their voices heard in November. I think they're ready to put Democrats back in charge."
Party and Legislative leaders say they've recruited candidates for all 186 Legislative races, and believe they have learned lessons from the 2010 defeat. And while the convention will talk about re-electing Obama, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Michaud, leaders say there will be plenty of talk and planning about how to defeat Paul LePage and the GOP.