BOWDOINHAM — Seth Berry, a Maine business VP and previously a teacher and State Representative, has filed his papers for reelection to the Maine House of Representatives. Berry is running to represent House District 55, which includes Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, most of Richmond, and the historic nature preserve of Swan Island.
“I am running because we need more voices for the underdogs,” said Berry. “Our safety nets and ladders of opportunity have been weakened. Wages are low. Augusta keeps boosting corporate welfare and income tax breaks that mainly help the rich, while indirectly jacking up property taxes by stiffing schools and towns, which disproportionately hurts the working class, the middle class, and small businesses. Maine has huge potential. With a level playing field we will have stronger competition and a stronger economy.”
Berry, 47, was first elected to represent the District in 2006 and won each of his four elections to the seat by wide margins. In 2014, he was ineligible to run due to term limits, which limit legislative service to eight consecutive years. He grew up in Bowdoinham and taught in public schools for nearly 20 years, first in East Harlem, NY and later back home in M.S.A.D. 75. Berry has been Majority Leader and Majority Whip of the Maine House, has served on or chaired legislative committees ranging from taxation to workforce to energy and technology issues, and is a former Bowdoinham selectperson and selectboard chair.
For his legislative and policy leadership, Berry has won awards from the Maine Children’s Alliance, the Maine Development Foundation, Maine Conservation Voters, the University of Maine, the Youth Leadership Advisory Team, the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse, and the Maine Lung Association. As a teacher, Berry won the Hexter Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Public Education Association in 1999; was a featured classroom in the book “NYC’s Best Middle Schools” (Soho Press, 1999); and won the New York City Schools Chancellor “Caring Community” Award in 1998.
Since 2011 Berry has been Vice President at Kennebec River Biosciences in Richmond, a Maine-based, Maine-owned biotechnology firm with an expanding, global presence and a unique focus on aquatic animal health. He lives in Bowdoinham with his wife Adelaida and their two sons, ages 12 and 14.
Berry’s likely opponent, Rep. Brian Hobart (R-Bowdoinham), ran for the seat in 2006 against Berry. Berry won that election, but says he takes nothing for granted and plans to campaign hard from now until Election Day in November.
“It was an honor to represent the people of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Richmond from 2006 to 2014,” said Berry. I can’t wait to visit them again this spring, summer and fall. My best work in Augusta has always started with talking to my neighbors.”