By Deborah McDermott firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted at 3:44 PM
Updated Jun 13, 2018 at 5:13 PM
ELIOT, Maine -- Eliot Democrat Michele Meyer was her party’s pick to face off against a Republican challenger this fall in the House District 2 race, as she coasted to victory in primary election voting Tuesday.
With all votes tallied Wednesday, Meyer received 671 votes from Democrats in Eliot, and part of Kittery and South Berwick. Primary challenger Kimberly Richards of Eliot garnered 403 votes. Meyer will face Eliot Republican Dan Ammons, who ran unopposed.
Meyer ran a visible campaign, combining social media with more traditional campaign methods.
“The use of social media was very effective,” she said. “I ‘met’ a lot of constituents through social media and kept them updated on the campaign and got to know them, they got to know me. For me, it was a way to continue the relationship after I met them at their doors and in their kitchens.”
She also credits her win to “an amazing team that selflessly gave me their time and advice and let me know their experiences as citizens of District 2. I’m deeply grateful to people for their time,” she said.
Meyer is former chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee and a board member at the elderly affordable housing complex Baran Place. She and her husband, Jay Meyer, have been Eliot government watchdogs for years and drew attention to lack of transparency in the Planning Board and Planning Department. She is a registered nurse who has never run for elective office before.
Richards said Wednesday she is philosophical about the vote. “That’s the way the cookie crumbled,” she said. “There are a lot of people who supported me, even independents and Republicans. I’m disappointed for them. I wanted so much for those people who supported me and believed in me to see me win.”
But she said she was proud she “put my best foot forward and concentrated on a good, clean campaign. I’m so honored that people voted for me,” she said.
Richards is chairwoman of the Eliot Conservation Commission and worked several years ago to bring attention to air pollution from Schiller Station in Portsmouth. She was the Fabyan Drake Citizen of the Year Award in 2014. She ran in the primaries two years ago against current District 2 Rep. Mark Lawrence, who is vacating his seat to run for state Senate.
She said she’s not sure if she’ll run again, but said regardless she will continue to “serve the public. It’s what I do.”
Meyer said for her part, she hopes Richards stays involved. “I respect her for getting out there and being interested in being a leader in our community. I hope she will continue that.”