AUGUSTA, Maine – A Democratic national committeeman and former Maine Senate majority leader has been chosen to lead the state’s Democratic Party.

Phil Bartlett was elected chairman Sunday by the party’s state committee. He beat Melissa Sterry, a Kennebec County Democrat, for the position.

Barlett is replacing Ben Grant, who was at the helm for the last four years. Grant announced his decision to step down days after Democrats suffered big losses in this month’s election but said he had planned to leave his post regardless of the outcome.

Barlett is an attorney in Sanford who specializes in personal injury and workers’ compensation law and has served as a national committeeman since 2012.

Peggy Schaffer of Vassalboro was elected vice-chair over Pam Fenrich, who has held the position for nearly two years.