AUGUSTA – Republicans in Augusta are calling out the Maine Democratic Party for sending a mailer recently that attacked a Maine Republican Senate candidate who grew up in Maine for leaving the state to serve in the United States Marine Corps. That attack is now appearing online in a web page sponsored by the Maine Democratic Party as well.
Colonel Duncan Milne left Maine to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps for twenty-five years but returned in retirement to give back to the state. That didn’t stop Democrats from sending a mailer to the Senate district Milne is running from, suggesting he moved to Maine for political purposes. The mailer, which pictures a moving truck with the words “Moving in Milne?” is meant to suggest Colonel Milne just moved to Maine to run for office.
The truth of the matter is much different.
In a statement released by Maine Senate Republicans, the truth came out, “Colonel Milne grew up in Maine, and he and his family moved away because of his military service, though he maintained his Maine residency for much of that time. He served 25 years in the Marine Corps, serving on every continent except for South America and Antarctica.
“His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Individual Action Air Medal with Combat “V”, the Strike Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and Gold Star in lieu of fourth award. Following his retirement from the military, Col. Milne has continued to serve others as President of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services.”
Milne, for his part, defended his fellow veterans more than himself, “I’ve got a thick skin – when you’ve been shot at for real, these kinds of juvenile character attacks ring hollow. But I won’t stand by and let Democrats attack all our veterans, active-duty military, and their families in this way. I want all who have served to see Maine as a place to call home, a state that would welcome them with open arms. We need to reject these kinds of residency purity tests in favor of encouraging our best and brightest to move to Maine. In the weeks ahead, I’ll be talking about how we can encourage that kind of opportunity for rural Maine as I continue to travel throughout Waldo County, focusing on a message of hope and a strong future for Waldo County and Maine,” said Colonel Duncan Milne.
Senate Republican Leader Dana Dow, however, blasted the attack ad, “This mailer is a despicable attack on the Mainers who have moved out of state to serve our nation. One of the sacrifices of military service is leaving the comfort and familiarity of your own hometown, oftentimes requiring that your family move dozens of times because of your service. Like so many other veterans, Col. Milne chose to return home to Maine. We should be celebrating that he chose to return home to share his talents with his home state, not attacking him for his years away in the military.”
Many political observers have pointed out that while the Democratic Party is attacking Col. Milne for leaving Maine to serve his country and then returning, they are supporting Sara Gideon in her campaign for U.S. Senate. Gideon was born and raised in Rhode Island, only moving to Maine in 2004. Gideon ran for Freeport Town Council a short while later.
Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas, herself a veteran who served as a Captain in the United States Army, called for Democrats to apologize for the attack.
“As a veteran and a Mainer, I am disgusted by the tactics of the Maine Democrat Party and their dark money allies,” said Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas. “Col. Duncan Milne’s service should be celebrated, not attacked, and we thank him for the sacrifices he made serving our country all around the world.”
“The Maine Dems should be ashamed of their mailer attacking Col. Milne for serving our country and should apologize immediately. Like many Mainers, Col. Milne left his home to protect our country overseas. Now, Democrat operatives are using it as a ridiculous ploy to discredit a great man.”
“Actions like this truly show how desperate the Maine Dems have become. While Democrats continue to show no respect to our men and women in uniform, the Maine Republican Party stands united in our steadfast appreciation for all who have served.”
According to Col. Milne’s website, his recent time in Maine has been spent supporting transitioning service members, veterans and their families as President of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services.
Colonel Milne is an expert in Veteran Workforce Development, Wellness Research and Development, Housing, and Homelessness and is a recognized national leader in assisting military service members, veterans, and their families gain and maintain meaningful employment and a high quality of life after their separation from active service.