The Democratic leader of the Maine Senate has resigned to serve as New England Regional administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Majority Leader Seth Goodall, of Richmond, told Gov. Paul LePage in a letter that it’s been an honor to serve and that leaving the Senate is “bittersweet.” A special election will be held for Senate District 19, which covers Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden. The date will be set by the governor.

Goodall’s resignation was effective when the Legislature adjourned early Wednesday. Lawmakers reconvene in January.

Even before Goodall officially resigned, two Democrats and one Republican expressed interest in running for his seat. Republican Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, who held the seat previously, has said she would like to be selected by her party to run for the seat.

And on the Democratic side, Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic, director of program and policy development at Women, Work and Community, has said she would like to run. And last week, David Sinclair, a Bath city councilor and attorney, said he too will seek the Democratic nomination.

Party caucuses will be convened in the coming weeks to select nominees.

Goodall said he looks forward to his new post. He said he hopes to “sustain and grow small businesses, the backbone of our communities, throughout Maine and New England.”

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