For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - Maine Senate Republicans have nominated Senator Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls to serve as Senate President for the 126th Legislature. The full Senate is expected to vote on leadership Wednesday, December 5th, following the swearing-in of the new Legislature.
"I am deeply honored to have won the confidence of my colleagues who nominated me for Senate President," said Mason, who is serving his second term in the Legislature.
"I believe Garrett would be very effective in this leadership role, because he understands the concerns of all Mainers. He represents those who live and work in rural Androscoggin County, as well as those who commute to the larger communities of Portland, Lewiston, and Brunswick, said Senator Mike Thibodeau, who will serve as Senate Minority Leader during the 126th Legislature.
"I provide a stark contrast to the Democrats' nominee who has already questioned whether Mainers pay enough taxes and indicated he wants to undo much of the progress Maine has made over the past two years," Mason said.
Senator Mason was one of the lead sponsors of legislation that led to the creation of charter schools in Maine. Charter schools are publicly funded institutions that provide an alternative learning environment for students who have not reached their full potential in traditional academic settings.
"I am a strong supporter of charter schools because they give parents autonomy over their children's education. That spirit of individual choice is at the core of my political philosophy. I believe in empowering individuals over government. As Senate President, I will fight for policies that will attract businesses to Maine and encourage young people to stay here."
Senate Republican leaders acknowledged that, with their party in the minority, the likelihood of Senator Mason being chosen President is remote, but there has been a tradition of the minority party nominating one of their own for the post. Assistant Minority Leader Roger Katz said "This nomination is somewhat symbolic, but it does demonstrate that we, as Republicans, intend to stand by our principles of limited government. That said, we look forward to working with Senate President Justin Alfond during what promises to be a challenging legislative session."
Senator Mason, who represents Senate District 17, chaired the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. He also served on the Government Oversight and Education and Cultural Affairs Committees.
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