Good for Ryan Fecteau! Good for Maine! Good for all of us!
According to Press-Herald, Maine state Representative Ryan Fecteau has been nominated by his Democratic peers, who currently hold the majority in Maine’s House of Representatives, as the next speaker of the House. He will be replacing outgoing House Speaker Sara Gideon, who ran for a U.S. Senate seat and lost.
“Working alongside him the past two years allowed me to witness his natural leadership capabilities and his dedication to the people of Maine. I wish him every success as he takes on this new role,” Gideon told Press-Herald of Fecteau.
For Fecteau, who is openly gay, the grandson of French-Canadian immigrants, and was raised by his mother in low-income housing, childhood was hard. But despite not learning to read until he was in the fourth grade, Fecteau became the first member of his family to graduate from college. While attending the Catholic University of America, Fecteau showed his potential for leadership by organizing the religious school’s first LGBTQ student union. It’s the leading spirit that helped him to get the nomination from his political peers.
“I’m filled with hope and determination because when Democrats lead, people who are too often forgotten or left at the margins are seen, they are valued and given a fair shot,” Fecteau told his colleagues. “Policymakers like you saw value and gave families like mine a fair shot. I’m a Democrat because we believe in families like mine who come to Maine for a better life. We believe in people who may not look like us or speak the same language or practice the same religion.”
Now, before starting his fourth consecutive term in December, Fecteau is already preparing for his role as House Speaker. And the first issue on his agenda is tackling the coronavirus pandemic, according to Maine Beacon. Fecteau hopes to support Maine’s health care workers and also prepare for the financial impact the pandemic has had on the state. He also expressed avid opposition to cuts to vital services during this time.
“We absolutely need to be fighting to make sure that the services our constituents rely on to keep them afloat and to give them a chance to build their lives and provide for their families, that those services remain intact,” Fecteau said.
Before this, Fecteau’s time in office was focused on issues such as affordable housing, health care, equal rights, and fighting for the end of conversion therapy. Now that he’s the House Speaker, we hope he can push even harder for those initiatives and more.