AUGUSTA  — Former state Rep. Dale Denno, a Cumberland Democrat, died Tuesday night, less than a month after he resigned his seat in the Legislature, according to Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Sara Gideon.

Gideon, D-Freeport, announced Denno’s death to her fellow caucus members Wednesday before issuing a statement on Twitter.

“Dale was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer, and he vowed to fight that disease and not to let the battle slow him down,” Gideon said in a prepared statement. “He continued to work as hard for his constituents as he was able to, and when he felt he couldn’t do that to his own satisfaction, he chose to focus solely on his health and family. It was extremely difficult to say goodbye to him, but we are so grateful he made that decision and that he was surrounded by those he loved and who loved him most during these days.”

Gideon said Denno, 68, who was serving his second term in the Maine House before his resignation in late March, was “a passionate public servant” and “a fierce advocate for his constituents…”

“I know all of us in the State House share in this grief and will keep his family in our thoughts,” she said.

Denno retired in 2013 from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, where he was director of the Office for Family Independence.


During his reelection campaign, Denno announced in August of 2018 that he had lung cancer, but pledged that the treatments would not hinder his ability to serve in Augusta.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, also offered condolences, saying Denno fought for his constituents every day during his service in the Legislature.

“While we have lost a cherished friend, we undoubtedly are better off because of Dale’s dedicated service, and we remain forever grateful for his contributions to our state,” Mills said in a prepared statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.”

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