On Wednesday, the 130th Legislature elected former Democratic State Senator Shenna Bellows of Manchester as Maine’s new secretary of state. Shenna Bellows will be the first woman ever to hold the position of Secretary of State in Maine.
Bellows, an attorney and former director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, was just re-elected to another term in the state Senate, but will need to resign that position.
She was the winner in a six-way race, decided by ranked-choice voting in the Democratic caucus. In the final tally she defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Erik Jorgensen for the nomination.
Republicans had nominated their own candidate for secretary of state—former state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey. He and Bellows faced each other in an election Wednesday in a joint session of the full Legislature, but since Democrats hold a clear majority in both House and Senate, Bellows was nearly certain to be elected.
Maine’s secretary of state is one of only three in the country elected by the Legislature. The secretary manages a department of 435 people and is responsible for elections, driver licenses, motor vehicle registration and related laws, as well as corporate registration and the state archives.
Bellows takes office in January.