AUGUSTA—Democrat Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic was sworn in as State Senator by Governor Paul LePage this morning.  Senator Vitelli was joined by her husband and members of Democratic leadership as she took her oath of office as required by the Constitution.

 “I am honored to be serving the people of Sagadahoc County and Dresden,” said Senator Vitelli. “I am greatly committed to standing up for the needs and concerns of the people in our community, including how we can all work together to strengthen our state.”

 Senator Vitelli is Director of Program and Policy at Women, Work and Community where she has spent her career assisting small businesses. There, she created a statewide job training program that has assisted more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and helped unemployed Mainers start successful businesses. Senator Vitelli currently serves on the Maine Economic Growth Council.

 “As a state senator, I look forward to continuing my work of helping workers and growing businesses,” added Senator Vitelli. “As a former Head Start teacher and workforce advocate, I know that education is the backbone to economic development. We must work together to improve our schools and job opportunities. I look forward to putting my experience to work for the people of Maine.”

 Senator Vitelli defeated Republican candidate Paula Benoit in the Senate District 19 special election race on August 27, 2013. According to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, Vitelli won with a total 4,631 by a margin of 462 votes.

 “With her experience at Women, Work and Community, Eloise has already proven her commitment and dedication to helping Mainers get back to work,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “Now, as Senator, she will bring her workforce and business expertise to the table to help grow our economy.”

 Senator Vitelli has received numerous awards recognizing her work, including the Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2006, the Women’s Business Advocate of the Year (1997) and in 1995 she was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. She formerly served as Board President of the MidCoast Economic Development District, Community Development Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Maine Human Resources Development Council (predecessor to the State Workforce Investment Board), and the Arrowsic School and RSU #1 Transition Committee.

 Senator Vitelli lives in Arrowsic with her husband, Bob Kalish. She has two grown sons, both of whom attended Bath schools.

 Since 2008, Democrat Seth Goodall of Richmond held the seat. Goodall, who served as the Senate Majority Leader, vacated his seat for an appointment by President Obama to head up the New England region of the Small Business Administration.

 With Senator Vitelli’s win, the Maine Senate is comprised of eight women, all of whom are Democrats. The Maine Senate includes 19 Democrats, 15 Republicans, and one unenrolled.

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