Two high-profile Portland Democrats have registered to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mark Dion.

Portland City Councilor Jill Duson and Rep. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, have filed papers with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to run for the Senate District 28 seat. Dion, also a Democrat, is leaving the seat after one term to run for governor. The district includes the western section of Portland and Westbrook.

Sanborn, a co-founder of Rising Tide Brewery and a former high school teacher, announced her campaign for the Maine Senate on Dec. 14. She is serving her first term in the Legislature, representing House District 43, which includes Portland’s North Deering neighborhood and part of Falmouth.

Duson, 63, was re-elected to the Portland City Council in November. She is serving in her 17th year on the council, which is a nonpartisan office. Duson registered as a Senate candidate on Dec. 17 but has not made a formal campaign announcement. Her campaign is being managed by Anne Haskell, who held the Senate District 28 seat before Dion was elected in 2016.

Democrats will choose between the two women and any other candidates who come forward in the June 12 primary election.

No Republicans have registered yet to run for the seat.

Correction: This story was updated at 10:27 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2017 to correct the number of years Jill Duson has served.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.