Bev Uhlenhake elected to serve as vice chair, both to immediately begin two-year terms
The Maine Democratic State Committee today elected Drew Gattine and Bev Uhlenhake to serve two-year terms as chair and vice chair, respectively. The State Committee is the governing body of the Maine Democratic Party.
“The pandemic has shown us that the work Maine Democrats do matters now more than ever before. With passionate, capable Democrats leading our state, we’ve seen what can be accomplished to keep people safe. But we also know this virus has only increased the urgency in addressing economic inequality, health care and education disparities, and the devastating impact of the climate crisis,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Drew Gattine. “We need to keep Democrats at the helm and build a better, more just future for all Mainers. That’s why this work is so important, and that’s why I’m honored and humbled by the trust the Maine Democratic State Committee has placed in me to serve as chair of the Maine Democratic Party.”
“The Maine Democratic Party is a reflection of the diversity of our state, and that diversity is our greatest asset. Statewide membership is the strongest it’s ever been, and now is the time to capitalize on the wide range of ideas within our party to build a better Maine,” said Maine Democratic Party Vice Chair Bev Uhlenhake. “We are grateful for the work our party did in 2020 to hold onto our majorities in the State House, re-elect two Democratic members of Congress, and deliver the state for President Biden, but to create a more prosperous and just Maine, we must accelerate that work in 2021 and beyond.”
“We need people with experience and vision who are committed to a strong, vibrant and inclusive future leading the Democratic Party in Maine,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As we embark on a promising new era with President Biden and Vice President Harris, and as we tackle this pandemic that is threatening the lives and livelihoods of our people, the election of Drew and Bev sends a clear and strong message that Maine, too, is ready to do our part to usher in a bright future for our country.”
Outgoing Chair Kathleen Marra and Vice Chair Erik Gundersen congratulated Gattine and Uhlenhake on their victories.
“We’re confident that the work we did the last two years has put the party in the best position possible to elect Democrats up and down the ballot for years to come,” said Marra and Gundersen. “We wish Drew, Bev, and the hardworking staff at the Maine Democratic Party the best of luck.”
Prior to today’s election, Governor Janet Mills endorsed Gattine’s and Uhlenhake’s candidacies in a statement circulated to members of the State Committee:
“Drew Gattine has proven to be a compassionate and effective leader [...] In Augusta, he chaired both the Health and Human Services Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, fighting to preserve clean drinking water, child protection services, public health nursing and programs to help the elderly and feed the hungry [...] An attorney with expertise in health care, Drew is an outspoken leader with strong Democratic values who is well respected across the state.
“As vice-chair, Bev Uhlenhake would bring a wealth of experience in Democratic organizing. She lives in the heart of the 2nd CD and has worn many hats in Democratic politics [...] She has volunteered for candidates and for the party, knocking doors, stuffing envelopes and performing all tasks to get our candidates elected to office.
Gattine previously served four terms in the Maine House, chairing the Health and Human Services Committee and the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. He also served on the Westbrook City Council and as chair of the city Westbrook Democratic Committee. Currently, Gattine represents Maine Democrats on the Democratic National Committee and is on the board of Emerge Maine. He is a Senior Policy Fellow at the National Academy for State Health Policy. He and wife are the parents of twins and live in Westbrook.
Uhlenhake previously served on the Brewer City Council, including two terms as mayor. She has also served as the chair of the Penobscot County Democrats, and ran a hard fought campaign for State Senate in 2020 against an entrenched incumbent. She got her start in politics by getting involved in the LGBTQ+ equality and marriage campaigns. Currently, Uhlenhake works as a commercial real estate broker in Bangor and lives in Brewer with her wife and three children.