PORTLAND, Maine — This weekend, 22 women will begin Emerge Maine’s intensive six-month political training program. They will receive comprehensive campaign training in a variety of topics from messaging and public speaking to fundraising and networking.
“This year’s class is a fantastic group of women who come from all over Maine, from South Portland to the St. John Valley,” said Interim Executive Director Shannara Gillman. “They are committed, energized, and eager to run.”
Emerge Maine recruits, trains, and inspires Democratic women to run for political office. Emerge Maine is one of 14 state Emerge programs across the country. Emerge is committed to increasing the number of Democratic women in office, building a strong network of dedicated women leaders, and creating a pipeline of Democratic candidates at all levels of government.
“I’ve been involved with Emerge Maine for the past five years and have loved every moment,” said Denise Tepler, an alumna from the Class of 2008 and the president of the Emerge Maine Board, in a press release. “Emerge women are go-getters, and I look forward to seeing what this class will accomplish.”
The Class of 2014 is Emerge Maine’s eighth cohort. There are 120 Emerge Maine alumnae, 51 of whom serve in elected or appointed office or work as political or campaign staffers. Emerge Maine alumnae make up 10 percent of the House Democratic Caucus.
“I’m often asked, why Emerge? Is Emerge still needed?” said Gillman. “In Maine, fewer than 30 percent of our legislators are women, we’ve never had a woman governor, and women need to be asked to run for office an average of seven times before they do.”
The first training will be Sept. 21 and 22 in Portland.
Members of the Emerge Maine Class of 2014:
Veronica Bates of Westbrook
Tracy Eames of Portland
Kate Elmes of Woolwich
Trudy Ferland of Pittsfield
Stephanie Hatzenbuehler of Portland
Danna Hayes of Brunswick
Shelia Jans of Madawaska
Erika Renae Keith of Portland
Maureen McKerns of Trenton
Deena Metzler of South Portland
Isabel Mullin of Portland
Kate O’Brien of Portland
Callie Pecunies of Albany Township
Christina Reinhard of Brunswick
Robin Russel of Hermon
Jackie Sartoris of Brunswick
Heather Shields of Yarmouth
Stefanie Veneziano of South Portland
Kate VerSluis of Sabattus
Patricia Washburn of Portland
Charity West of Portland
Maryann White of Gardiner