We won’t know who will be Maine’s next governor until after Election Day, or what party will control Congress.

One sure bet, however, is that no matter which party ends up with control of the state Senate, it will stay a closely divided body in which senators will be forced to work together and accross party lines to be effective.

For the two Senate seats that represent Portland, we endorse Justin Alfond and Jeffrey Martin, one Democrat and one Republican, to best advocate for the city in the next Legislature.

Alfond is the incumbent in District 8, representing the Portland peninsula and islands.

Alfond, a Democrat, became chairman of the Education Committee in only his first term, and was a strong voice for preserving education funding for local school districts during a difficult budget year.

He also led the committee during the end-of-session bargaining that changed state law to allow student perfomance data to be used in teacher evaluation.

We wish the Legislature would have gone further and also opened the door to public charter schools.

Alfond is facing a challenge from Peter Doyle, Republican, who is a former actuary and math teacher who offers solid financial skills that are needed in Augusta.

In this race, however, we support Alfond.

For District 9, Martin owns a property management business in Portland, and is making his second run for public office.

Martin is a strong advocate for smaller government and reducing state spending, but he is no anti-government zealot.

As a father of a child with special needs, he understands the role of state government and why it’s important to keep it from getting overextended.

We think Martin would be a strong voice for an effective but limited government in Maine.

Martin is seeking to unseat Sen. Joseph Brannigan, who has been a member of the Legislature for 14 terms and has a long and distinguished record of public service.

This year, however, we think that it’s time for a new voice in Augusta.