Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, was reelected to Maine Senate District 23 to represent Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden. Contributed photo

Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, will keep her Senate District 23 seat representing Sagadahoc County and Dresden after defeating Republican challenger Holly Kopp Tuesday.

Vitelli beat Kopp, 13,640-10,881, according to unofficial election results, taking 56% of the votes. Vitelli won her first Maine senate seat in then-Senate District 19 in a 2013 special election.

Speaking about her win Wednesday, Vitelli said there are many serious challenges that lie before legislators, who will have to address limited state budget resources, not so much in the next year, but in coming years.

Vitelli said she expects getting people back to work will continue to be a challenge. A big part of that challenge will be childcare and making sure childcare workers are safe and adequately compensated so they can do that work that is crucial to Maine’s economy, Vitelli said. Legislators also need to make sure schools keep their education systems and the resources to remain innovative.

Vitelli said she’d also like to enact a retirement savings program, which would be a state-run retirement savings plan for Maine workers who don’t have one available through their employer.

“What I heard and certainly saw during this pandemic and subsequently with the strike at (Bath Iron Works) is how financially fragile some families are, and so I think making sure we can put policies in place that help people build financial resilience is going to be important,” Vitelli said.


Vitelli said she was concerned to see data that indicates that women and minorities have been hit harder by the cost of the pandemic. She said women have high rates of unemployment and are slower to be rehired.

“As someone who has worked their entire life to advance the economic status of women and their families, it is troubling that we may be losing the gains of the past 40 or 50 years,” Vitelli said.

This points to conversations that were beginning at the start of the pandemic about equity and fairness.

“We’ll make the best progress we can and it will take all of us working together,” she said.

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