Wednesday was all set to be a memorable day for Sen. Garrett Mason, who planned to announce his intention to run for governor.
Instead, the 32-year-old Lisbon Falls lawmaker is dealing with the sudden death of his mother, Gina Mason, who serves in the state House.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden passing of my beloved mother,” Mason said in a statement late Tuesday. “She was the bedrock of our family and our hearts are broken over this tragic loss.”
“While I know my mother has returned to Almighty God, at this most difficult time, I ask for your thoughts and prayers,” Mason said.
His announcement has been postponed.
Gina Mason, also of Lisbon, won the race for the 56th House District last year. She had logged seven years on the Lisbon Town Council and served in the past on the town school board as well as Republican Party committees.
Garrett Mason, the Senate majority leader, had planned to join the race to succeed Gov. Paul LePage. He would join Mary Mayhew, the governor’s former health and human services commissioner, in the GOP field.
Mason is in his fourth term and cannot seek re-election to the Senate in 2018 because of term limits.
A number of Democrats are vying for their party’s backing, including Attorney General Janet Mills and former House Speaker Mark Eves.
In addition, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, is eyeing the possibility of running for governor.
In the Senate, where he’s known for his evangelical bent, Mason got an 80 percent rating this summer from the American Conservative Union, a 100 percent rating from the Maine Right to Life Committee and a 6 percent rating from the Maine People’s Alliance.
Gina Mason was picked as the 2010 Maine Public Official of the Year by the Maine Development Foundation and the Maine Downtown Center. She is the owner of Rick Mason Excavation in Lisbon. She has two adult children, Garrett and her daughter, Haley.
Garrett Mason, a real estate agent, was born in Lewiston and grew up in Lisbon Falls. He is a 2003 graduate of Calvary Christian Academy of Turner and a 2006 graduate of Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing.
He worked after college for the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team and then as an executive for the Lewiston Maineiacs hockey team before selling real estate.
State Rep. Gina Mason
State Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls.