State Sen. Dennis Dutremble announced Thurday he will not seek re-election in November.

State Sen. Dennis Dutremble announced Thurday he will not seek re-election in November.

BIDDEFORD — Sen. David Dutremble, a Democratic state senator representing District 32, announced Thursday that he will not run for a third term.

District 32 includes Alfred, Arundel, Biddeford, Dayton, Kennebunkport and Lyman.

Dutremble, a Biddeford firefighter who also runs an electrical business, was first elected in 2012. His current term ends in December.

He said Thursday that he made the decision to spend more time with his wife and five children.

“One of the jokes my 6- year-old daughter makes (is saying), ‘My daddy lives in Augusta,’” Dutremble said with a laugh. “So my wife has to explain to people, ‘No, he really doesn’t.’ … So we decided that it was time I just focus on family.”

Dutremble said he will miss his fellow legislators with whom he has grown close. Above all, though, he will miss “being the voice of the people,” he said.

“I was very much a senator, a politician, who believed in bringing the people’s voices to Augusta no matter what the issue, and I’m definitely going to miss that aspect of trying to help my constituents,” Dutremble said.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this came in January 2015, when Dutremble sponsored a bill to make the Labrador Retriever Maine’s official state dog, after an Arundel woman made the request. Dutremble said in a Jan. 19 email to the Journal Tribune that it was not a bill he would have submitted on his own, but he did so because his constituent asked him to. (The bill failed.)

“I was elected to represent all people, and that’s what I do,” he said in the email. “I don’t judge, criticize or reject ideas from my constituents.”

Dutremble said one of his proudest accomplishments has been spearheading efforts that led to the creation of a board to examine reforming the state’s guardian ad litem program, which assigns people to assist the courts in determining what’s in a child’s best interest in family law and child protective cases. The board is the first one of its kind in the country, according to Dutremble.

“For me, that was one of the biggest accomplishments, to at least have that board set up now to look at maybe some deficiencies with the guardian ad litem system,” he said.

Other local Democratic lawmakers reacted to Dutremble’s announcement Thursday with a mix of disappointment, understanding and praise.

“I’m disappointed that Sen. Dutremble is not running again, but I certainly understand the demands on his schedule, between the Biddeford Fire Department and his electrical business and his family,” Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, said. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to have served with him these last four years.”

In an email, Rep. Martin Grohman, D-Biddeford, thanked Dutremble for his service, and said he sponsored key legislation in areas such as property tax relief and downtown development.

“I can tell you that (Dutremble) is highly regarded in the halls of the State House and he is a tireless advocate for the citizens of his district,” Grohman said.

Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, said in a Facebook message that he was sorry to hear about Dutremble’s decision, but knows he made it after careful consideration and with the best intentions for his family and the community.

“He has been a good steward for defending working class families in our community,” Fecteau said. “His absence will be noticeable.”

BJ McCollister, director of the Maine Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, said Thursday that no one has yet expressed interest in the seat.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]

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