Three candidates for the Maine State House win seats, making history

The three history-making lawmakers will be sworn into office on December 8.
The three history-making lawmakers will be sworn into office on December 8.(WMTW)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:21 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Savoring her election night victory, Jill Duson, 68, is visiting K & A Street Meat, a food stand in Deering Center.

Duson was cheering on local entrepreneurs. A local woman approached Duson.

”You are a bright light in this community,” said the woman. Duson responded, “Thank you.”

Duson is making history again. She was elected as Portland’s first Black mayor more than two decades ago.

Tuesday night she won a coveted senate seat in the state house making her the first black woman ever to do so.

”Like I said when I first served as mayor, it’s OK with me to be the first, as long as I’m not the last,” Duson said. “It’s just important to me in 21 years in elected office in Portland to not just get through the door or crash the ceiling, but to hold that door open for others,” she said.

Two other history-making women are on their way to the state house.

Dequ Dhalac, South Portland’s mayor beat on a Republican challenger for a House seat in the state legislator.

Dhalac became the nation’s first Somali American mayor in 2021.

Right by her side, Mana Abdi, 26, of Lewiston who also won a house seat in the state legislature on Election Night.