RUMFORD — Bruce Bryant has announced he is seeking election to state Senate District 19.

“I’ve dedicated my life to fighting for working Mainers,” the Rumford Democrat said in a written statement. “There is no better place than western Maine to live, work, play, raise a family, or retire. With that in mind, I am excited to announce that I am running for the Maine Senate to continue to be a voice for working families across our region.”

Bruce Bryant

Bryant, who has previously served as a state senator, said, “Politicians have overlooked the rural communities in Western Maine for the last too long. We’ve seen this through the selling of the Technology Center, the closing of the Community Dental program, the underfunding of our essential rural EMS services, and the reductions of workers in our mills.”

He pledged to “stand up for rural Maine helping our rural communities keep its doctors in the health care fields, keep its small elementary schools and fight for economic development money as I did in the past. I will also fight for all workers and families in District 19, from Rangeley to Jay to Rumford to Bethel and all the way to Stow.”

He also pledged to “bring all voices to the table to unite us around common-sense solutions that serve the good people of our community.”

A lifelong Mainer, born in Rumford and raised in a family of 10 children in Canton, Bryant graduated from Dirigo High School and worked for 40 years in the Rumford paper mill, serving as the president of Local 900 with 1,150 members. He then served three terms in the Maine House of Representatives from 1997 to 2002 and four terms in the State Senate from 2002 to 2010, where he represented most of Oxford County, along with Jay in Franklin County.

As a senator, Bryant chaired the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in Augusta, where he sponsored bills to preserve western Maine’s natural beauty and help farmers and loggers. Bryant also fought to lower prescription drug prices and led the Task Force on Veterans Health Care.

Republican Lisa Kiem of Dixfield, who has served four terms in District 19, is not eligible to run again because of the state’s term limit law.

Comments are no longer available on this story