October 27, 2011

Michael Brennan: Candidate strives for consensus

Democrat Michael Brennan, a former state lawmaker, is running on a platform of education as a job creator.

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

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Michael Brennan

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AGE: 58

ADDRESS: 49 Wellington Road

PERSONAL: Married to Joan Martay. Sons: Travis Brennan, 30, and Ryan Brennan, 26

EDUCATION: Bachelor's in education, Florida State University; master’s in public policy and management, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine; master’s in social work, University of New England; certificate, Executive Program for State and Local Officials, John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University

OCCUPATION: Policy associate, Muskie School of Public Service

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative, D-Portland (1992-2000), state senator, D-Portland and Falmouth (2002-06), Senate majority leader (2004-06)

WEBSITE: www.brennanformayor.com


Collaborate with local schools to create rapid retraining programs.

Work to increase school funding for Portland Public Schools.

Promote Portland as a research hub.

Make the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and create a regional approach to public transportation.


MICHAEL BRENNAN will answer questions from Press Herald readers during an hour-long live chat with the candidate starting at noon today. Go to www.pressherald.com to participate.

He said his knowledge of educational policy, his ties to the education community and his ability to build consensus could accomplish these tasks.

“I’m the only candidate who can make this happen,” he said, citing his ties to local schools. Brennan works as a research associate at USM’s Muskie School of Public Service.

Brennan said he would also like to establish an ombudsman at City Hall to streamline the permitting process and work with the surrounding communities to build a regional approach to public transportation.

And he’d like to garner support from other communities to rework the school-funding formula to get back the $1 million in state funding that Portland lost in the last budgeting process.

“I’ve said when Portland works alone in Augusta, we generally don’t have much success,” he said. “But if we can find partners and work collaboratively, we tend to do much better.”

Supporters said Brennan’s experience and relationships in Augusta and throughout the state will serve him well as mayor. He worked with a Democratic, Republican and Independent governor during his time in the Legislature, and had success under all of them, they said.

But most importantly, they said, his message of collaboration and consensus will lead to success.

“He not only understands what the mayor can do,” Suslovic said, “he understands what it can’t do. That’s what I think separates him from the other candidates.”

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be contacted at 791-6347 or at:


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