Dem Summers: Simon Thompson’s Maine Mayoral Managing

The Dems have been busy over the summer: interning, working, volunteering, traveling, and of course, indulging in some leisure time not oft found in Cambridge (leave it to a Harvard student to be busy spending leisure time.) This is part III of an indefinite series. If you’re a Harvard Dem (or rising pre-frosh with interest), we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. | E-mail

Simon Thomposon’s Maine Mayor Managing
My summer has consisted of an eclectic mix of political activities. Although I had originally planned for a somewhat laid-back summer with my efforts focused on a full-time internship with the OFA finance team in Boston, I was asked in late May to manage a mayoral candidate’s campaign in Portland, Maine- an offer I couldn’t refuse.
So, I’ve had a balanced mix of national politics and local politics.
The mayoral campaign, however, has proven to be the most interesting and intensive political experience I’ve had yet. This is the first time voters in my hometown are electing their mayor in 90 years (it used to be a ceremonial position passed between councilors), and the race has attracted a dozen and a half candidates- quite an impressive number for a city of 60,000.
The candidate whose campaign I’m managing, Jed Rathband (, ran the campaign to create the elected mayor position but had not ever before run for elected office himself. Thus, boosting his name recognition in a crowded field of former state legislators and current councilors has proven to be the primary objective. But we’re doing good, and I’m optimistic about his chances.
Though I don’t plan on spending much time coaxing Harvard Dems into volunteering with the mayoral campaign, I do look forward to working on a variety of other campaigns this fall. With an array of municipal elections occurring in the greater Boston region this fall, at least two monumental elections next year, and a variety of issues-focused campaigns attracting the attention of the Harvard campus, we have plenty of democratic (small and large “d”) work ahead of us, and I look forward to getting started!