U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree announced Tuesday that she and husband S. Donald Sussman are divorcing.

“Donald and I are sorry to say that we have separated and have decided to get divorced,” Pingree said in a statement. “It is a very amicable and truly mutual decision. It is sad for both of us but we continue to have the utmost respect for each other. This is the only statement either of us will have on this private family matter.”

Pingree, a Democratic congresswoman in her fourth term representing Maine’s 1st District, and Sussman, a hedge fund manager, philanthropist and former owner of the Portland Press Herald, were married in June 2011 at a ceremony on North Haven. They had been engaged since 2008.

It was the second marriage, and soon to be second divorce, for each.

Pingree has three adult children from her first marriage to Charlie Pingree, including daughter Hannah Pingree, a former Maine representative and speaker of the house. Sussman has two children with his first wife, Laurie Tisch.

The split had been rumored after Pingree missed a recent financial disclosure deadline.


Her spokesman, Willy Ritch, explained that the congresswoman was using a 30-day grace period, offered to all congressmen and women, to tell friends and family about the separation. Her financial disclosure was filed Tuesday, without Sussman’s assets listed.

Republicans have long criticized Pingree for her relationship to Sussman, but it hasn’t hurt her electability in the heavily Democratic 1st District.

Sussman, who manages a hedge fund called Paloma Partners in Greenwich, Connecticut, and whose net worth is estimated in the hundreds of millions, has been one of the biggest donors to Maine politics in the past several years, including more than $1.2 million last year. All his contributions have gone to Democrats or progressive organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

He also is a noted philanthropist. In 2007, he donated $1 million to Blue Hill Hospital. He once owned a home in the coastal Hancock County community. In 2013, he gave $1 million to help Pen Bay Healthcare in Rockport finish building a hospice house, which is named for his grandmother, Ida Sussman.

Sussman purchased MaineToday Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, in 2012 and made significant investments in infrastructure and personnel.

He sold the company in June to Reade Brower, a midcoast businessman and publisher of several weekly newspapers.


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