AUBURN – Husband and wife, longtime Democrats and Auburn property taxpayer advocates Ed and Sheila Desgrosseilliers are running for the Maine Legislature, they announced Thursday.
Ed Desgrosseilliers, 64, is running for the Senate, vying for the seat held by Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello, R-Poland.
Sheila Desgrosseilliers, 61, is running for the House, hoping to fill the seat held by Rep. Thomas Shields, R-Auburn, who will be unable to run again due to the term limit law.
This will be the first time either has run for a state office, they said Thursday.
Both have been active Democrats, volunteering with local and state campaigns, as well as for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s Maine campaign.
Ed Desgrosseilliers said he wants to serve at the State House to help create good jobs, work on an equitable tax system, work for quality education and a healthy environment.
Last year’s property revaluation in Auburn led him to join the United Citizens of Auburn to explore ways of cutting property taxes without endangering vital city services, he said. He also serves as a city representative to the L-A Cable Advisory Committee, is past chairman of the Auburn City Recreation Advisory Committee. He’s also served as a Little League coach, Boy Scout leader and taught religion at his church.
He served two years in the Marine Reserve, and more than 20 years in the Navy, winning several awards.
After his Navy retirement, he worked for the Department of the Army at the military enlistment processing center in Portland, and he worked for the U.S. Postal Service.
He is an Auburn native, graduated from Edward Little in 1960, and attended the University of Maine at Augusta and the University of Southern Maine.
Sheila Desgrosseilliers said she’s running for the House because she was asked to by fellow Democrats, and also wants to help build good-paying jobs, promote quality education, a healthy environment and good health care.
“Maine has one of the highest child asthma rates in the country. I’m really concerned about that,” she said. “I have health problems myself. We have good health care, but I know a lot of people who don’t. I’m concerned about that.” Both she and her husband said they favor Dirigo Health. “But it needs a little tweaking,” Sheila said.
She and her husband took courses at the University of Maine at Augusta and Lewiston-Auburn College. They did not graduate. The couple made sure all of their four children did well in school, and all graduated from college. “That’s so important to me,” she said.
She was born in Lewiston, raised in Oxford and Auburn. She graduated from Edward Little High School in 1962. She was a stay-at-home mother raising their four children.
They are the grandparents of nine, and the parents of four: Gregory, Mark, Carol and Todd Desgrosseilliers. Todd, a Marine, was recently awarded the Silver Star for combat valor in Iraq.
– Bonnie Washuk