Of the 151 members of the House of the 121st Maine Legislature, 80 are Democrats, 67 are Republicans, three are Unenrolled and one is the first member of the Green Independent Party elected to the Maine State Legislature and one of the first Green Party members elected to a state legislature in this country.
There are 37 women in the House; 26 are Democrats and 11 are Republicans.
Representative Eugene L. Churchill of Orland, 81, has the distinction of being the senior member of the House, while Representative Jeremy Fischer of Presque Isle, 22, is the youngest.
Representative Thomas W. Murphy, Jr., of Kennebunk is the member with the longest service in the House, having been first elected in 1980 and re-elected in 1996. Today he begins his 8th term. Representative H. Sawin Millett, Jr., of Waterford is the Representative who served in the earliest Legislature, having been elected to the 104th Legislature in 1968.
Four members have prior service in the State Senate. Representative Ronald E. Usher of Westbrook served in the Senate from Cumberland County in the 108th through the 113th Legislatures. Representative Joseph C. Brannigan of Portland served in the Senate from Cumberland County in the 113th through the 116th Legislatures. Representative S. Peter Mills of Cornville served in the Senate from Somerset County in the 117th through the 120th Legislatures. Representative Sean F. Faircloth of Bangor served in the Senate from Penobscot County in the 117th Legislature.
Of the 69 new members of the House, seven have prior service in the House. Representative Millett was a member of the House in the 104th and 105th Legislatures. Representative Eugene Churchill was a member of the House in the 105th through the 109th Legislatures. Representative Philip R. Bennett, Jr., of Caribou was a member of the House in the 107th and 108th Legislatures. Representative Herbert Adams of Portland was a member of the House in the 114th through the 117th Legislatures. Representative Faircloth was a member of the House in the 116th Legislature. Representative Henry L. Joy of Crystal was a member of the House in the 116th through the 119th Legislatures. Representative Earl E. Richardson of Greenville was a member of the House in the 119th Legislature.
Eighty-nine members have had previous experience in the House. Representative Murphy begins his 8th term. Representatives Brannigan and Eugene Churchill begin their 6th term. Representatives Adams, Joy, Usher and Joseph Bruno of Raymond begin their 5th term. Nineteen members begin their 4th term today; 18 of them are beginning their 4th consecutive term and by the provisions of Maine’s term limit laws will be prohibited from running for the House in 2004. Thirty members begin their 3rd term, 33 members begin their 2nd term, and there are 62 members beginning their first term in the House, 28 Democrats, 30 Republicans, three Unenrolled, and one Green Independent. The combined experience of returning members of the House is 366 years. The average age of the members of the House is 53.15 (53.1 for men and 53.4 for women).
By way of occupation, the 121st House is composed of 18 educators (seven active and 11 retired) while another four are in education administration (two active and two retired). There are 10 attorneys in the House, two farmers, four people involved in social work (two active and two retired), and 10 people who work in the field of health care (nine active and one retired). Six legislators are involved in the pulp and paper industry while another four are involved in forestry. Nineteen members are businesspeople and five are self-employed. Overall there are 34 retirees in the House, many of those members having come from the ranks of business and local, state and federal government.
Three legislators formerly served as legislative staff. Representative Joseph E. Clark of Millinocket served on the House Chamber staff; Representative Stanley J. Gerzofsky of Brunswick served on the Senate Chamber staff; and Representative Marilyn E. Canavan of Waterville served as Journal Indexer for the Senate, Library Associate in the Law Library, and Director of the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.
Of the 151 members of the House, 99 were born in Maine, 33 of them in the communities they currently represent. Seventeen members were born in Massachusetts, six members were born in New York, two members were born in Canada, one was born in Ireland, and the rest were born in 10 other states and the District of Columbia. All have been elected to serve two-year terms.