BATH – A Republican contender to become the next state senator from Sagadahoc County has emerged following a top Democrat’s decision to accept a position in the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sagadahoc) announced his resignation at the beginning of June, triggering a scramble among both political parties to find a replacement.
Last week, former State Sen. Paula Benoit of Phippsburg said in a statement that she is “strongly considering” a run for the seat she once held.
“I have been touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement by many from Sagadahoc County. I did not intend to seek public office again, but thought I must consider running after many of my former constituents asked me to,” said Benoit.
Benoit served District 19’s senator during the 123rd Legislature and earned national recognition for her work reforming adoption rights.
Benoit also owned and operated the Magnolia Gift Store, formerly located in Bath’s downtown, and made helping small businesses a major focus of her public career. She was active in the people’s veto effort to overturn the tax on goods and services (L.D. 1495) passed by Democrats in 2008.
“It was an honor to represent Sagadahoc County as a state senator. My experience in the Legislature and as a small business owner will allow me to hit the ground running to fight for Maine’s small businesses and families,” she said. “It is imperative that our state government lives within its means and allow Mainers to keep more of their hard-earned money. They have to make tough choices with their own budgets. Our elected officials must do the same.”
The date of the special election will be announced following Goodall’s resignation. If Benoit were to win the election, the Republican minority in the Senate would grow to 16, leaving 18 Democrats and one unenrolled.
Maine Wire Reporter