Jackson brings Democratic convention to its feet (with video)
AUGUSTA/Aroostook County - When Senator Troy Jackson of Aroostook County stepped up to address the Maine Democratic Party Convention on June 1 at the Augusta Civic Center he was virtually unknown to most of the audience. Ten minutes later he received a standing ovation for what many said was the "highlight of the convention" and "one of the best speeches they'd seen in years."
Conventions organizers had asked Jackson to be on stand-by during the three-day convention in case a lull in the proceedings required a fill-in speaker. When former US Senator Max Cleland (D-GA) informed the Maine Democratic Party that he would be unable to attend the event to speak on that Friday evening, Jackson joined the evening's roster along with Rep. Mike Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree.
He gave a "red meat" speech that expounded on the theme of a "ladder of success", discussed the need for Democrats to prove they are the party of the working people, recounted watching his mother struggle while he was growing up, and told two stories about his sons and the future that they should have. He finished with a call to state-wide unity that brought the entire Civic Center to its feet and had the convention buzzing for the rest of the weekend.
Lizzie Reinholt, Communications Director for the Maine Democratic Party said, “Troy… really hit upon our values as a party… and as Mainers as well. He is one of the strongest voices for working people out there.”
She said the convention was “a lot more motivating than in years past. Troy reminded us who we were working for.”
Sanford Town Councilor, retired police officer, and York County delegate to the convention Joe Hanslip said, “I have been to a lot of conventions, both political and for law enforcement… I have never been to a convention so well organized."
He agreed with Reinholt and said, “I’m well aware of the plight of people in Aroostook County. There is nobody who speaks out for… Maine families who have to make tough decisions about what they can afford… than Troy Jackson.”
He said, “Troy knocked it out of the park. He’s a natural populist orator, in his choice of words, in his diction. He’s the St. John Valley through and through.”
Caribou delegate Ginette Rivard said, “I’ve been to all but one Democratic convention since 1987. I have never seen a Maine speaker bring the house to its feet.” She said she’d heard there were about 1000 people at the convention that evening.
Rivard said, “[Troy] spoke from the heart… about working people, retired people, kids growing up, the everyday struggles of everyday people. He talked about how we are all one in Maine, no matter what our cultural or regional differences, united in trying to make a good life. We want to make sure the ladder of success is there for every Mainer.”