As of this week, I will no longer be serving as a State Senator.  President Obama has appointed me to be the New England Administrator for the United States Small Business Administration, and while I am very excited about the new opportunities and challenges, it is bittersweet leaving the Legislature and my service to the people of Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden.

 In my five years in the State Senate, I have had many opportunities to work with my colleagues of all political philosophies to help make our communities and state stronger. A recent example of this is my term as the Senate Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. Over the past six months, Republicans and Democrats on the Workforce committee worked together to strengthen Maine’s economy and create jobs by supporting our downtowns and Main Streets, and investing in our small businesses.

 Through our efforts, we developed a comprehensive workforce development bill to address the state’s skills gap. This first-of-its-kind legislation renews the partnership between government, education, workers, and businesses-both small and large, and was unanimously supported by the committee, the House, and the Senate.

 This experience and bipartisan effort is a prime example of why Mainers serve in the Maine Legislature and should give Mainers confidence in the legislative process.

 Maine is truly fortunate to have such talented and committed lawmakers in the State House who prioritize compromise over confrontation, good policy over politics, and who want to do the right thing and by standing up for what they believe.  

 While I consider myself lucky to have worked with and learned from many, the people of our communities have been my greatest inspiration.  I was born and raised in Richmond and am a product of our region’s people, environment, and culture. I am forever grateful for, and humbled by, your support and your faith in me. It has been an honor to serve as your Senator. Hopefully I have served you well.

 I hope to still see you in our community, and I look forward to continuing my efforts to sustain and grow small businesses, the backbone of our communities, throughout Maine and New England in my new position.

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