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Maine Democratic Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maine Democratic Party
ChairpersonDrew Gattine
GovernorJanet Mills
Senate PresidentTroy Jackson
House SpeakerRachel Talbot Ross
HeadquartersAugusta, Maine
Membership (2023)Decrease400,770[1][2]
IdeologyModern liberalism
National affiliationDemocratic Party
US Senate
(Maine seats)
0 / 2
US House
(Maine seats)
2 / 2
Seats in the Maine Senate
22 / 35
Seats in the Maine House
82 / 151
Nonvoting Seats in the Maine House
1 / 3
Executive Offices[a]
4 / 4

The Maine Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Maine.

After the Civil War, Democrats were a minor player in a political scene dominated by the Republican Party. However, during the 1950s, Edmund Muskie led an expansive political insurgency culminating in his election as Governor of Maine and successive Democratic elections to both state and national offices.[3]

It is currently the state's favored party, controlling both houses of the state legislature, governorship, and both of Maine's U.S. House seats. One of Maine's U.S. Senate seats is currently held by Angus King, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Current Democratic officeholders

Members of Congress

U.S. Senate

  • None

Maine's U.S. Senate Class I seat has been held by Independent Angus King since 2012 (though King does caucus with the Senate Democrats) while the Class II seat has been held by Republican Susan Collins since 1996. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell was the last Democrat to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate. Appointed in May 1980 to fill the vacancy left by Edmund Muskie after Muskie's appointment as the U.S. Secretary of State, Mitchell was subsequently elected to a full term in 1982. After winning a second term in 1988, Mitchell opted to retire instead of seeking a third term. Congressman Thomas Andrews ran as the Democratic nominee in the 1994 election and was subsequently defeated by Republican challenger Olympia Snowe.

U.S. House of Representatives

Out of the 2 seats Maine is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, both are held by Democrats:

District Member Photo
1st Chellie Pingree
2nd Jared Golden

Statewide officials

Democrats control the Governor's office, as well as the three statewide offices filled by the Maine Legislature:

State legislative leaders

Democrats have controlled the Maine House of Representatives since 2012, and the Maine Senate since 2018. As Maine has no office of lieutenant governor, the Senate President is first in line to become governor in the event of a vacancy.


The Maine Democratic Party was revitalized by Edmund Muskie during the 1950s and 1960s. Muskie served as Governor, Senator and finally Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter.

The Democratic Party has history dating back to the 1800s. Maine entered the Union in 1820 as an Anti-Federalist state. Soon after, in 1834, the Anti-Federalists adopted the Democratic Party name.[3]

The Democrats had limited success for nearly a hundred years, in part due to slavery. The Northeast was predominantly anti-slavery whereas the South was pro-slavery. When the Whig party split in 1856, most of its northern wing formed the Republican Party, which dominated Maine due to its anti-slavery stance. Maine was predominantly Republican until 1954.[3][4]

In 1954, in a gubernatorial election, Democratic state representative Edmund Muskie became only the fourth Democrat to win the governorship in the 20th century. He won the state over in part due to his stance on economic growth through industrial development, accessible politics on television and being acceptable to diverse population growth. Between 1954 and 1974, the number of registered Democrats more than doubled from 99,000 to 212,000.[4][5][6]

In more recent years, Maine has been roughly evenly split between Democrats, Republicans, and independents. For instance in 1990, independent registered voters constituted 37% of the electorate, Democrats 33%, and Republicans 30%. This is a great contrast to the first hundred years of Maine politics.[7][8]

From 2012 to 2019, despite having a Republican governor in Paul LePage, the party remained strong, holding key offices in the state government and the U.S. Congress and maintaining a majority in the Maine House of Representatives for six of LePage's eight years in office.

Democrat Janet Mills was elected Governor of Maine in the 2018 gubernatorial election.[9]

Party platform

George J. Mitchell, Senate Majority leader (1989–1995)

Maine Democrats promote economic opportunity, ethical government, freedom, safety, and national security. They also promote voting rights, environmental protection, strong public education, access to health care, civil rights, transportation infrastructure, and help for those in serious poverty.[7]

The party advocates economic security through strong support of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Maine Democrats believe in fair workplace opportunities and support Maine workers' right to form unions through the Employee Free Choice Act, which gives employees the chance to strike without being punished by employers and also keeps the workplace free of hazards, harassment, and discrimination.

The platform also supports environmental protection through an energy plan to curb pollution and increase productivity.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer. Only the Governor is elected by popular vote, the other three offices are filled by the Maine Legislature.


  1. ^ Winger, Richard. "December 2023 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  2. ^ "Voter Registration Data, Election Data and Online Forms". Maine Secretary of State. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "1946-1970 A Different Place". Maine History Online. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  4. ^ a b Palmer, Kenneth T.; Taylor, G. Thomas (1992). Maine Politics & Government. U of Nebraska Press. p. 30. ISBN 0803287186. governorship of edmund muskie.
  5. ^ Blomquist, Robert (1999). "What is Past is Prologue: Senator Edmund S. Muskie's Environmental Policymaking Roots as Governor of Maine, 1955-58". Valparaiso University.
  6. ^ Nevin, David (1970). Muskie of Maine. Ladd Library, Bates College: Random House, New York. p. 99. ... a man many deemed to be the single-most influential figure in Maine
  7. ^ a b Palmer, Kenneth T.Taylor, Thomas G. LiBrizzi, Marcus A (1992). Maine Politics and Government. University of Nebraska Press
  8. ^ Stevens,John. Abbott, Cabot. Elwell,Edward Henry (1892). The history of Maine. Portland:Brown Thurston Co.
  9. ^ "Gov.-elect Janet Mills announces transition team". Press Herald. Associated Press. 2018-11-10. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  10. ^ "Maine Democratic Headquarters", October 30, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2024, at 21:44
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