VASSALBORO — Penny Plourde has announced that she’s running as a Democrat for state Senate District 24, which serves Augusta, China, Oakland, Sidney and Vassalboro.

Plourde, 58, is a retired state worker who served as a director in the departments of transportation and labor and is a longtime advocate for small businesses and people with disabilities, according to a press release.

Plourde grew up in Maine and has lived in the Augusta area since 1979. She was employed by the state government for 32 years as the director of civil rights and small business development in the Department of Transportation. She was appointed in 2006 by then-Gov. John Baldacci as director of vocational rehabilitation within the Department of Labor.

“I’m running because I want to give opportunity and hope back to the people of Maine. I want Maine to be a state that values quality jobs, education, affordable health care, and provide opportunities to every Mainer,” Plourde said in the release. “I want to put Maine government back on the side of working families, and I have the professional and life experiences to ensure that our state remains a great place to live and work.”

Also running for the seat is incumbent state Sen. Roger Katz, a Republican from Augusta.

Plourde said she served three years the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Maine Division Advisory Council. She is now retired. Born with spina bifida, Plourde uses a wheelchair, but said she has never let that define her.