STONINGTON — Commercial lobsterman and new mom Genevieve McDonald (D) has defeated Philip Brady (R) for the District 134 seat in the House of Representatives. Walter Kumiega (D) currently holds the seat.
“I’m excited to get to work,” McDonald said from Route 1 as she headed home on Wednesday. “I’m excited to serve under Maine’s first female governor.”
District 134 represents the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont, the Cranberry Isles, Swan’s Island and Frenchboro.
McDonald defeated Brady in all towns except Swan’s Island, where Brady had 11 more votes in a 109–98 tally. In every other town McDonald had the majority vote, often nearly twice the vote for Brady.
“At this point I’m just in the stage of thanking people,” said McDonald, who was at the Janet Mills party when she heard news of her own win.
When she threw her hat in the ring to run earlier this year, McDonald said the issues important to her “are successfully managing Maine’s marine resources, preserving our working waterfront and shoreline access, building Maine’s rural economy and assuring the best possible education for our children.”
A native of Mount Desert Island and the Blue Hill Peninsula, McDonald now lives in Stonington with her husband and six-month-old twin daughters.
“I’m looking forward to bringing them with me to my swearing in,” said McDonald.
She serves as the Downeast Region representative on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council, which represents the interests of commercial lobster license holders from fishing Zones A, B and C. McDonald is the first female fisherman to serve in the Maine House of Representatives. Once in the state house, she hopes to serve on the Marine Resource Committee.
She said there a few big issues coming up in fisheries policy that she is looking forward to working on, especially the bait crisis and whale regulations.
McDonald graduated in May from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in university studies and a minor in Maine studies. Her goal in earning her degree was to facilitate collaboration between the commercial fishing and scientific communities as an advocate for the fisheries.
In 2015, McDonald and several other female lobster fishermen launched a successful campaign to persuade foul weather gear manufacturer Grundens, to design a line of gear specifically for women. They needed gear that helped them maneuver more easily and safely on boats and around equipment to do their jobs, they said.
McDonald is currently finishing up her fishing season. In the off season, she works as a substitute teacher in the Deer Isle-Stonington school system.