Two Portland residents are competing to fill an open seat in the Maine Senate representing District 27, which includes parts of Portland and Westbrook.

Jill Duson, a Democrat and longtime Portland city councilor, is running against Jeffrey Tounge, a Republican and longtime city resident.

Tounge did not respond to a request for information about his candidacy.

Here is a look at Duson’s priorities and positions on some key issues.

Q: What are your top priorities and why? 

Education – I believe that education is the great equalizer. I will be a champion for sustaining and expanding investment in our schools and our kids to build a future for our city and region. And I will work to empower all stakeholders to hold school leadership accountable for creating a quality system where all students learn and thrive.


Housing – Safe, affordable and accessible housing is a core element of the American Dream. I will join with colleagues at the state level to make certain that housing options in our communities match the diverse needs of those who live, work and play in the region. I will work to ensure diverse housing choices to include affordable and market-rate rentals; housing for first-time buyers; help for homeowners underwater, attention and advocacy for unhoused residents; and options for growing families and aging seniors.

Q: What are your biggest concerns about the economy and what should the Legislature do to address them?

My biggest concerns are the local impacts of the national economic crisis. I will join in efforts to mitigate the impacts in local communities, work with cities and towns to support the effective investment of yet unspent COVID relief resources, and focus legislative attention to identify and prioritize safety net gaps that remain in need to shoring up.

Q: Do you support changing Maine’s abortion law to make it more or less restrictive and how?

I will fight against any proposal to make Maine abortion law more restrictive.

Q: Do you believe President Biden won the 2020 election fairly?


Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States !!!


Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired attorney; retired compliance director, Maine Human Rights Commission

Education: Juris Doctor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; certificate program, Senior Executives in State & Local Government, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Civic/Political Experience: City of Portland at-large city councilor, 19+ years of service; two terms as appointed mayor, Dec. 2004 and Dec. 2008; chair of the Portland school committee, 2000-’01; District 5 school committee representative, ’98 – ‘01; Democratic Party experience includes 2004 Maine presidential elector and president, Maine Electoral College and 2008 Maine presidential elector. Civic experience includes board of directors, United Way of Southern Maine; Community Advisory Board, Indigo Arts Alliance; board of directors, Gulf of Maine Research Institute; commissioner, Maine Human Rights Commission; Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, vice chair, LGAC Executive Committee; chair, LGAC Cleaning Up Our Communities Workgroup; board of directors, Mercy Hospital System; board of directors, Institute for Civic Leadership/The Board Network; board of visitors, University of Southern Maine; gubernatorial appointee, Maine Compact for Higher Education; Human Development Steering Committee, National League of Cities; board of directors, Portland Community Chamber of Commerce; board chair, Legal Services for the Elderly.

Website, Facebook

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