On November 8, 2018, the Maine Senate Democratic Caucus unanimously voted to elect Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash, Sen. Nate Libby of Lewiston and Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic to the Senate Democratic Leadership team for the 129th Legislature. While Jackson received unanimous support for the Senate Presidency from the Senate Democratic Caucus, an official vote will be taken by the entire Senate on swearing-in day, December 5.
“Over the next two years, Senate Democrats have an opportunity to show the people of Maine what smart, fair and responsible leadership looks like. I don’t intend to waste any time. This means working together to lower property taxes, make health care more affordable and invest in education,” said Senate President-Elect Troy Jackson. “I’m incredibly humbled to have earned the trust, support and faith of my Senate Democratic colleagues to serve as President of the Maine State Senate. I look forward to working with lawmakers all along the political spectrum to get things done for the people of Maine.”
Jackson is a fifth-generation logger from Allagash, who began his official foray into politics 20 years ago with the 1998 logging blockade along the Canadian border. Since then, Jackson has emerged as a champion for working families, lower health care costs and supporting Maine’s natural resource-based economy. In the Legislature, Jackson has served on a number of Legislative Committees: Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development; State and Local Government; Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and Energy, Utilities and Technology.
“This week, Maine people sent a pretty clear message that they want a change in how our state is run. But they also sent a clear message that they want us to achieve results. And we have a serious obligation to make good on the promises we made,” said incoming Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby. “At the same time, we must work diligently to ensure the era of bitter partisan gridlock and dysfunction in state government comes to a close. Maine people expect their government to work, and work well.”
Libby has represented Maine’s second-largest city in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and has served on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee and State and Local Government Committee. Last session he also served as the Ranking Member of Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee. In the Legislature, Sen. Libby has focused his efforts on improving public education, community redevelopment and student debt relief.
“For the past 38 years, I’ve spent my career in workforce and entrepreneurship development helping smart, passionate individuals make their vision a reality. And I intend to continue this work in the Maine State Senate helping make our collective vision a reality for the people of Maine,” said incoming Assistant Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli. “Each member of our caucus brings a different set of experiences, backgrounds and expertise to the table. By tapping into the strengths and talents of each member, we are going to be a stronger and more successful caucus. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues and getting back to work.”
Vitelli previously served on the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee and the Special Task Force on Maine’s 21st Century Economy and Workforce. She is also a 1995 inductee of the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, Sen. Vitelli retired after 35 years with New Ventures Maine (formerly known as Women, Work and Community), a statewide organization that helps Maine people create their own path to a career by finding jobs, continuing with education or starting a small business.
The leadership team was selected by the 21 members of the incoming Maine Senate Democratic Caucus. Lawmakers will be sworn in for the 129th Maine Legislature on December 5, 2018.