Of the 151 members of the House of the 120th Maine Legislature, 89 are Democrats, 61 are Republicans, and one is an Independent.
There are 41 women in the House; 28 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans.
Representative Howard A. Chick of Lebanon, 78, has the distinction of being the senior member of the House, while Representative Jonathan Thomas of Orono, 21, is the youngest.
Representative Eleanor M. Murphy of Berwick is the member with the longest service in the House, having been first elected in 1983 and re-elected in 1998. Today she begins her 9th term. Representative Ronald E. Usher of Westbrook is the Representative who served in the earliest Legislature, having been elected to the 107th Legislature in 1974.
Five members have prior service in the State Senate. Representative Usher served in the Senate from Cumberland County in the 108th through the 113th Legislatures. Representative Zachary E. Matthews of Winslow served in the Senate from Kennebec County in the 112th through the 115th Legislatures. Representative John L. Tuttle, Jr., of Sanford served in the Senate from York County in the 112th and 113th Legislatures. Representative Joseph C. Brannigan of Portland served in the Senate from Cumberland County in the 113th through the 116th Legislatures. Representative Stephen C. Estes of Kittery served in the Senate from York County in the 113th through the 115th Legislatures.
Of the 45 new members of the House, four have prior service in the House. Representative John M. Michael of Auburn was a member of the House in the 109th through the 112th Legislatures, and in the 115th and 116th Legislatures. Representative Brannigan was a member of the House in the 109th through the 112th Legislatures. Representative George H. Bunker, Jr., of Kossuth Township was a member of the House in the 117th and 118th Legislatures. Representative Sharon Libby Jones of Greenville was a member of the House in the 118th Legislature.
110 members have had previous experience in the House. Today Representative Eleanor Murphy begins her 9th term. Representatives Michael, Tuttle and Thomas W. Murphy, Jr., of Kennebunk begin their 7th term. Representatives Richard H. C. Tracy of Rome and James G. Skoglund of St. George begin their 6th term. Representative Brannigan begins his 5th term. 29 members begin their 4th term today, 36 members begin their 3rd term, 38 members begin their 2nd term, and there are 41 members beginning their first term in the House, 31 Democrats and 10 Republicans. The combined experience of returning members of the House is 471 years. Representative Tuttle and 27 of the 29 members beginning their 4th term are starting their 4th consecutive term; by the provisions of Maine’s term limit laws they will be prohibited from running for the House in 2002. The average age of the members of the House is 52.6 (51.5 for men and 55.7 for women).
By way of occupation, the 120th House is composed of 19 educators (eight active and 11 retired) while another four are in education administration (three active and one retired). There are eight attorneys in the House, two farmers, two social workers, and 11 people who work in the field of health care (9 active and 2 retired). Six legislators are involved in the pulp and paper industry while another five are involved in forestry. Seventeen members are businesspeople and five are self-employed. Overall there are 34 retirees in the House, many of those members having come from the ranks of business and local, state and federal government.
Four legislators formerly served as legislative staff. Representative Joseph E. Clark of Millinocket served on the House Chamber staff, Representative Stanley J. Gerzofsky of Brunswick served on the Senate Chamber staff, Representative Sharon Libby Jones of Greenville served as the Executive Secretary to the Senate President, and Representative Glenys P. Lovett of Scarborough served as Chief Committee Clerk and also served as committee clerk to the Committee on Business Legislation.
Of the 151 members of the House, 103 were born in Maine, 41 of them in the communities they currently represent. Fifteen members were born in Massachusetts, 11 members were born in New York, two members were born in New Brunswick, Canada, one was born in England, and the rest were born in 10 other states and the District of Columbia. All have been elected to serve two-year terms.