Augusta, MAINE - Maine Democratic Party Chair Phil Bartlett and Party Vice Chair Peggy Schaffer announced today, at a meeting of the Maine Democratic State Committee, that they will not be seeking re-election to their posts.
Chair Phil Bartlett addressed the committee and spoke of the changes and gains we’ve made as a party since he became Chair:
“When I was first elected Chair, I was repeatedly asked whether we were truly a statewide party and whether we would ever win a statewide race again. Despite a challenging electoral environment in 2016, we were able to hold the Maine House, pick up seats in the Maine Senate, win the presidential vote statewide and elect many Democrats to local and county offices.
“But we knew we had more to do and we got right back to work. We organized earlier and better than ever before, and in 2018 we put together the strongest Get Out The Vote effort this state has ever seen. Democrats won big majorities in the Maine House and Senate, won both congressional districts, and reclaimed the Blaine House.
“Having accomplished so much of what I set out to do, I have decided not to run for re-election as Chair. I am proud of all we have achieved together, and am confident I am leaving the party stronger than I found it.”
Vice Chair Peggy Schaffer said new leadership will be well-positioned to continue to strengthen the Maine Democratic Party:
“Four years is a long time, and as great as these years have been, I am looking forward to being involved in our party in a different way. I’m confident that this organization will put a new leadership team in place that will be in a great position to build on the work of the past four years.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done and the goals we’ve accomplished as a team. I want to thank all of the wonderful volunteers and activists at the local and county level who have been so crucial to our efforts.”
Bartlett and Schaffer are concluding their time as Chair and Vice Chair after a historic election, as Maine Democrats now hold both of Maine's Congressional seats, the Blaine House, and majorities in both the Maine House and Senate.
In the Governor’s race, Governor-elect Janet Mills received the highest number of votes in Maine history and became the first non-incumbent gubernatorial candidate to win over 50% of the vote in 52 years. She is the first woman elected to serve in state government’s highest office.
In Maine's Second Congressional District, Jared Golden became the first candidate in a century to win the seat when challenging in an incumbent, and for the first time, Ranked Choice Voting was used to determine a true consensus victor.
The Maine Democratic State Committee will elect new leadership at their January 2019 meeting. Additional details about the meeting will be announced at a later date.