BIDDEFORD — Democrat Victoria Foley announced she won’t seek a second term for District 12 in the Maine House of Representatives, and is endorsing Erin Sheehan for the seat, which includes part of Biddeford.

Victoria Foley, who represents House District 12, part of Biddeford, has announced her withdrawal from the November race. Courtesy photo/Justine Johnson Photography

Foley said serving her friends and neighbors in Biddeford in the Maine House has been an honor.

“I love Biddeford and look forward to opportunities to continue to serve the people of our city closer to home in the near future,” she said in a statement issued Wednesday, Aug. 5.

In her statement, Foley said Sheehan, who owns the Main Street business Lorne Wine with her husband, Carson James, will serve residents of the district well.

“I am thrilled that Erin Sheehan has decided to stand up and run for this important office,” said Foley. “There has never been a more critical time to elect smart and thoughtful people to office, and Erin will represent the people of Biddeford exceptionally well.”

Melissa Packard, director of the elections division of the Maine Secretary of State’s Office said following a withdrawal, the appropriate municipal political committee — in this case the Biddeford Democratic Committee — would meet and choose a candidate for the November ballot. The deadline for the Secretary of State’s Office to receive the name of the nominee is Aug. 25.

Biddeford Democratic Committee Chair Jeffrey Kaplan said committee members will meet, properly socially distanced, at 5 p.m. Aug. 15 to select a candidate. He said the meeting will be in a private home, and interested Democrats who wish to attend may email: [email protected] for the address.

Erin Sheehan has announced she will be a canddiate for the Democratic nomination for House District 12. Biddeford Democrats will soom set a caucus to choose a candidate for the November race, following the announcement by Rep. Victoria Foley that she won’t seek a second term. Courtesy Photo

So far, Sheehan is the only individual in the running as a replacement candidate.

Foley, the marketing and communications director for New England Cancer Specialists, had been a Biddeford city councilor before she ran unopposed for the House District 12 seat in 2018. She had been appointed to the City Council to replace Bob Mills, who moved out of the district. Fourteen months later, Foley moved to a different area of the city when she bought a new home, and so resigned from the council.

“I really love the idea of the opportunity to serve the city closer to home,” said Foley on Wednesday. “I feel really strongly about the potential for Biddeford.”

She said she is proud she was able to pass a bill that instituted protections in short-term health plans. She said the legislation made sure people knew what was covered, and assured that certain aspects of care, like preventative health, was covered.

Foley said the decision to withdraw from the state race came down to timing.

“One of my concerns was if I decided to shift my focus to city politics in the next year or so, that would trigger a special state election and cost the taxpayers,” she said in an interview.

Foley will continue to serve as the House District 12 representative until the new Maine Legislature is inaugurated.

Sheehan and James moved to Biddeford from Dallas, Texas, in 2019. Sheehan was raised in Connecticut, and she and her husband lived in New York before moving to the lone star state, where he worked as a Dallas firefighter and Erin, a fashion designer, worked for Fossil.

Moving to Maine was a 15-year dream for the couple, she said.

“The business is now solidly underway, and I thought this was a good time to get involved,” said Sheehan of her decision to run.

Ryan Fecteau, assistant majority leader of the Maine House, and a state representative in the adjacent Biddeford House district, expressed appreciation for Foley’s service and excitement about Sheehan stepping up to run.

“Victoria Foley has been an incredible member of the Maine House, and she will be greatly missed,” said Fecteau. “I’m thrilled that Erin Sheehan has decided to run. She will be a strong advocate for small businesses and the people of our city.”

Sheehan said she is looking forward to hearing from her neighbors and learning what their concerns are, and representing them in Augusta.

“(I want to) make sure the bright future we’re anticipating here is accessible to all residents,” said Sheehan.

Timothy Shawn Keenan is the Republican candidate for the open seat.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: