Julian Rogers is elected to serve as Vice Chair, both to immediately begin two-year terms
Today, the Democratic State Committee, the governing body of the Maine Democratic Party, unanimously voted to elect new leadership. Bev Uhlenhake of Brewer will serve as Party Chair and Julian Rogers of Ogunquit as Vice Chair. Both Uhlenhake and Rogers have a long history of involvement with the state party. Since 2021, Uhlenhake and Rogers have served as Party Vice Chair and Chair of the Party’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee respectively.
“My dad was a factory worker and a farmer, so I was raised in a farming community with union values. He taught me at a young age that, as Democrats, we don’t leave people behind. We have a responsibility to make sure every American has the tools to succeed, regardless of their background. These are the values that have guided me my entire life, and they’re the same values that will guide me in this new role,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Bev Uhlenhake. “It’s a great honor to lead this amazing organization and continue the work I started as Vice Chair. Democrats won up and down the ballot in 2022 and I fully intend to build on our success in the years to come. From expanding our presence and visibility in rural communities to making sure every Mainer sees themselves reflected in our state party – I can’t wait to get started.”
“I am thrilled to work alongside Bev to continue to organize for Democratic values across all sixteen counties. I love that we share a desire to think beyond the next election. We’re building with a long term vision for Maine’s future – a future where every Mainer has access to affordable health care, a quality education, and well-paying job opportunities,” said Maine Democratic Party Vice Chair Julian Rogers. “The 131st Legislature may be the most diverse group of lawmakers to ever convene in Augusta, but I look forward to helping to elect Democratic candidates who are able to bring an even wider range of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to make sure all Mainers feel represented in our state government.
“Bev is a friend, a leader, and a champion for the causes that unite us as Maine Democrats. Her vision and leadership as Vice Chair this past cycle not only helped me win reelection but helped Democrats across Maine win. Thanks in good part to her, Maine Democrats have retained and expanded our majorities in the State House and have sent Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Golden back to Washington – all in a year when the pundits were predicting the worst for Democrats,” said Governor Janet Mills, in a statement endorsing Uhlenhake and Rogers’ candidacy. “With Bev as Chair, and with Julian as Vice Chair, we will have leaders who understand the importance of building an inclusive party; a party that is focused on reaching out to Maine people and promoting our fundamental belief that all Maine people deserve affordable and accessible health care, strong schools, higher incomes, and an economy that works for everyone.”
“I can’t think of two harder-working, passionate, committed leaders than Bev and Julian. I have absolute confidence that they will lead the Maine Democratic Party to new heights,” said outgoing Maine Democratic Party Chair Drew Gattine. “Having a Chair and Vice Chair who understand the challenges Mainers face, who already have experience organizing in every corner of our great state, and who understand the work that lies ahead; that continuity of leadership is so incredibly important. I wish Bev, Julian, and the rest of the hardworking staff at the Maine Democratic Party the very best.”
Until today, Uhlenhake held the role of Party Vice Chair, alongside outgoing Chair Gattine. She previously served on the Brewer City Council, including two terms as mayor; as the chair of the Penobscot County Democrats; on the 2021 Apportionment Commission; and as a commercial real estate broker in the Bangor area. She got her start in politics during the LGBTQ+ equality and marriage campaigns and ran twice for the Maine State Senate. Currently, Uhlenhake is the Chief Development Officer at Sky Villa Properties in Veazie. She lives in Brewer and is the proud mother of three children (ages 12-14) in the Maine public school system.
Since 2021, Rogers has served as the founding Chair of the Maine Democratic Party’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Along with other committee members, Rogers led the formation of a permanent DEI Committee. He previously served as Chair of the Ogunquit Dems and is also an active member of the York Democratic County Committee, most recently as Vice Chair. When not volunteering for causes he cares about, Rogers works as a traveling antiques dealer. He lives in Ogunquit with his husband.
Beyond electing a new Chair and Vice Chair, members of the State Committee today also voted to re-elect Vicky Cohen of Farmington as Party Secretary, Betty Johnson of Lincolnville as Treasurer, and Jonathan Goble of Cherryfield as Assistant Treasurer.