Ranked-choice voting advocate in 1st legislative term resigns Maine House seat

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Oct. 15—AUGUSTA, Maine — Freshman state Rep. Kyle Bailey of Gorham resigned his seat Friday, with fellow Democrats tapping a former state senator to run to replace him in a special election expected after Nov. 2.

Bailey, who is mostly known in state politics for running the 2016 referendum campaign that enshrined Maine's first-in-the-nation ranked-choice voting system, said he was leaving the seat "due to an exciting professional opportunity that has arisen recently."

He easily won the 2020 race to succeed his husband, former Rep. Andrew McLean, D-Gorham, in a solidly Democratic district covering parts of Gorham and Scarborough. Similarly, McLean left his seat ahead of last year's election to take a job after graduating from law school.

Former state Sen. Jim Boyle, D-Gorham, who briefly ran for governor in the 2018 Democratic primary will run for the seat in a special election, the House Democratic campaign arm announced in a Friday statement. Party nominees for the seat must be picked at a local caucus after the secretary of state's office announces the special election.

The Legislature is not expected to return to Augusta in 2021, so Bailey's resignation will have no short-term effect on House business. After he leaves, the chamber will have 79 Democrats, 65 Republicans, four independents and one Libertarian. Another open seat in Augusta will be filled after a November race between Democrat Raegan LaRochelle and Republican James Orr.

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