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Swearing In Day
Being elected is an incredible honor. And the culmination of our elections is to be officially sworn in. Today was my second swearing-in day and it was just as overwhelming and exciting as my first swearing-in. The nice thing about this day is that it helps to mark the official end of the campaign season. There is little talk of partisan politics and all 151 members of the House and the two Native American representatives stand together and commit to serve the people of Maine. The summer and fall of campaigning and attacks is suspended. At least for a while... but it is always hard to tell.
The House Chamber was packed with families watching proudly and taking photos. Especially for new members and their families, this is a big day. And for many of us, family members are often partially responsible for our success. In most Maine House campaigns we have no paid campaign staff and few volunteers, so the typical race includes family members doing a great deal of the work to support the candidate. My campaign was no different. My boyfriend held the official "campaign manager" title. I dragged my brother, sister, neighbors and friends out on the campaign trail as drivers, canvassers, and helpers— doing everything from mailings to putting up signs to phone calls.
So when swearing in day rolls around, many of them attend with pride— including many of my family members and friends. Unfortunately, swearing in day this year also coincided with the beginning of the winter storm season. My family made the trek up to Augusta on the early ferry off North Haven in 30— 40 knot breezes, making for a very rough crossing. My dad, an amazing boat builder and accomplished sailor, arrived a bit green and still feeling the effects of the ferry. But despite wearing off seasickness, it was fun to have them all there.
Immediately following swearing-in day, the real work begins this year. Ceremony ends, our families go home, and we begin the work of putting in bills that we will plan to introduce next session. I am busy working on those bills, and will keep you updated as the "legislating" begins.