Woodbury opts out of State Senate race, candidates opt in

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YARMOUTH — State Sen. Dick Woodbury, U-Yarmouth, who represents District 11, announced on Jan. 18 that he would not seek a third term.

Woodbury served three terms in Maine’s House of Representatives, from 2002-2008, before running for Senate. He defeated Republican incumbent Gerald Davis in 2010 and Republican challenger Chris Tyll in 2012. 

“While stepping back from elected office, I do not intend to disappear from politics altogether, or from the many initiatives I’ve worked to advance in my time as a legislator,” Woodbury said in a statement. “I’m particularly proud to have taken an approach to policymaking in Maine that is more collaborative and less partisan.”

Democrats Steve Woods, of Yarmouth, and Cathy Breen, of Falmouth, last week announced their candidacies for Woodbury’s seat.

In a statement issued last week, Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, commended Woods and Breen but said he would remain neutral during the primary race.

“The nomination is up to the Democratic voters of this district, and we look forward to waging a vigorous campaign on behalf of the nominee immediately following the primary election on June 10,” Alfond said.

Woods, the chairman of Yarmouth’s Town Council for the past three years, ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 and governor in 2013. He is the chief executive officer of TideSmart Global, a marketing company based in Falmouth, and part owner of the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.

“As a parent, I will be a strong and vocal advocate for a renewed commitment to education,” Woods said in a statement. “As a local business owner, I promise to be dogged in my pursuit of more effective economic and taxation policies. As a town leader, I will fight for a return to fair and equitable revenue sharing between the state and municipalities. Finally, I intend to passionately advocate for programs and policies that are much needed in regard to our population of seniors – and the respect and dignity that they so very much deserve.”

Breen, a former two-time chairwoman of Falmouth’s Town Council, serves on the board of of Spurwink Services, a statewide organization that serves children and adults with behavioral and mental health needs and developmental disabilities. She served as Falmouth’s representative on the Greater Portland Council of Governments for six years.

“It’s an exciting time to enter state government because Maine faces so many challenges and opportunities,” Breen said in a statement. “I hope to bring my practical experience and passion for public service to Augusta. I’d be honored to represent the citizens of Senate District 25.”

As a result of last year’s statewide redistricting, which came in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, Woodbury’s successor will represent District 25 instead of District 11. District 25 will consist of Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gray, Long Island, part of Westbrook, and Yarmouth. The portion of Westbrook replaces North Yarmouth.

“I think both Cathy Breen and Steve Woods are terrific, and would represent the district well,” Woodbury said in an interview.

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.