Chellie Pingree considers running for Maine governor in 2018


First District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is considering a run for governor in 2018.

“Chellie is considering a run for Governor and will make a decision by the end of the month,” Jesse Connolly, a political spokesman for Pingree, wrote in an email to the Press Herald Monday.

Pingree, a progressive Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 2008 after eight years in the Maine Senate and three years heading the national progressive group Common Cause. She has been a vocal critic of President Trump and handily won reelection to Congress in 2016, with 58 percent of the vote.

She has been a leading voice in Congress on food and agricultural issues, especially those that she believes will help smaller-scale or organic farms as well as farmer’s markets. Pingree currently sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and therefore has a voice in funding decisions dealing with farm and natural resources issues.

The North Haven resident has run an inn, a restaurant and an organic farm on the island

While Pingree is generally popular in Maine’s more urban and southern 1st District she could have a more difficult time winning votes in the more rural northern 2nd District, which reelected Republican Bruce Poliquin in 2016 and voted for Trump.

Pingree’s entry into the race would make her the 11th Democrat and 25th candidate to join the race.

This story will be updated.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (AP file photo)