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  • Independent State Lawmaker Chipman switches party to become Democratic Representative

    State House building, Augusta, ME. Photo by Ramona du Houx

     Independent State Rep. Ben Chipman of Portland announced on September 4, 2015 he would become a Democrat joining the Democratic majority caucus in the Maine House of Representatives.

    “One of my priorities right now is to hold Governor Paul  LePage accountable for his behavior and bring civility back to the State House," said Rep. Chipman. “Joining the majority party in the House of Representatives will give me more leverage to accomplish this goal.”

    Chipman, who represents Portland’s District 40, including the Parkside, Bayside, East Bayside and Oakdale neighborhoods, is serving his third term in the State Legislature. He serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee and has been a strong advocate for health care, education, and for protecting Maine’s anti-poverty programs. 

    “House Democrats are very proud to welcome Rep. Chipman to our caucus,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. “Rep. Chipman has been a strong voice for core Maine values, from protecting our natural resources to fighting for health care and for standing up for workers in our state. He will be an excellent addition to our caucus.”

     Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Chipman worked for 15 years on public policy issues including health care, education, transportation, equality, and the environment. He is a lifelong Mainer and a graduate of the University of Maine.

    "For more than a century, the Maine Democratic Party has been a vehicle for progressive change in Maine, and I'm excited to welcome Rep. Ben Chipman to the party," said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond, "I hope like-minded progressives across the state will follow Ben's lead by joining us as we build a stronger economy for Mainers, ensure fairness and opportunity for all, and invest in Maine's future. We are stronger together.”

    With the addition of Rep. Chipman, there are now 77 House Democrats, 67 Republicans, 5 unenrolled or independent members, and 2 vacancies in the Maine House of Representatives.

    “It’s been great working with an independent Rep. Ben Chipman on issues ranging from environmental protection to workers’ rights to access to quality, affordable education,”  said House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. “It’s going to be even better to have him with us as a full-fledged member of the House Democratic caucus. We’re excited that he’s joining us, bringing his deep commitment, work ethic and legislative effectiveness to our caucus to make it that much stronger. We look forward to all we’ll accomplish together.”