Legislative Alert: Legislative Leadership Election Update
The Senate Democratic Caucus met on November 5th and, as expected, re-elected their current leadership team. Thus Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby (D-Androscoggin), and Senate Majority Assistant Leader Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc), will retain those positions. There was no challenge made by any member of the newly elected caucus to any of the current leaders. Senator Cathy Breen (D-Cumberland) will likely remain the Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
The House Republicans have met today, November 6th. Current Republican Leader, Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford), fended off a challenge from Rep. Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred) to retain her leadership position. Reps. Mary Anne Kinney (R-Knox), Mike Perkins (R-Oakland), Joel Stetkis (R-Canaan), and Will Tuell (R-East Machias) competed for the Republican Assistant Leader position. Rep. Stetkis prevailed to become the Republic House Assistant Leader.
The Senate Republicans will hold leadership elections on November 10th. Current Republican Leader, Senator Dana Dow (R-Lincoln), lost his re-lection bid, but current Assistant Leader, Senator Jeff Timberlake (R-Androscoggin), is expected to run for the Republican Leader position. Senator Matt Pouliot (R-Kennebec), and Senator Stacey Guerin (R- Penobscot) have expressed an interest in the Assistant Republican leadership position, and newly elected and returning Senator Rick Bennett (R-Oxford) could step up, if recruited to do so. Senator Bennett previously served as Senate President and as the Republican Senate Leader
House Democrats will make their leadership decisions on November 12th. Current Assistant House Majority Leader, Rep. Ryan Fecteau, (D-Biddeford) appears to face no opposition in his race for Speaker of the House. Reps. Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town) and Denise Tepler (D-Topsham) are known to be running for the House Majority Leader position If Dunphy becomes the Majority Leader it is likely Rep. Theresa Pierce (D-Falmouth) will become the House Chair of the Appropriations Committee. Reps. Lori Gramlich (D-Old Orchard Beach), Michele Meyer (D-Eliot), and Rachel Talbot-Ross (D-Portland) are understood to be running for the Assistant Majority Leader position.
At this time it is expected that current Attorney General Aaron Frey, and current State Treasurer Henry Beck will not be challenged for their positions from within the Democratic Party. However, current Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is termed out in December. At this time Senator Justine Chenette, Rep. Janice Cooper, Rep. Craig Hickman, Rep. Erik Jorgensen, and current House Majority Leader, Rep. Matt Moonen, are running for this position. House members often have an edge in these races, and Rep. Jorgensen had declared his interest almost 4 years ago. However, House Majority Leader Matt Moonen is a popular leader in his caucus. Speaking of Matt Dunlap, it is likely that he will be the new State Auditor. Current State Auditor, Pola Buckley, is termed out.
It is unknown at this time if the Republicans will offer up any candidates for these positions. Both parties will presumedly schedule joint caucuses in late November to vote on what candidates will be put forward on swearing-in day, which is Wednesday, December 2nd.
We will provide regular updates.