Newly elected officers & what’s next for the Portland Democrats

Hi Sam,

The past month has been a whirlwind of activity for the Portland Democrats. Just a few weeks after our members helped win so many races on Election Day, we elected our own officers to lead the Portland Democratic City Committee for the next two years.

I’m honored to have been re-elected as chair of the PDCC, and am excited to announce the three newly-elected officers who I will be serving with:

  • Vice-chair: Elizabeth Murphy
  • Treasurer: Cynthia Handlen
  • Secretary: Doug Lynch

One of the major responsibilities of the PDCC chair is to appoint chairs of our various committees, which have admittedly been pretty inactive in recent months. I’m dedicated to revitalizing our committees by recruiting activists and getting them to work on tangible projects that can excite our members.

Here are the chairs of each of our committees:

  • Finance: Cynthia Handlen
  • Bylaws: Gwynne Williams
  • Issues: Sam Tracy
  • Communications: Elizabeth Murphy
  • Organizing: Cynthia Handlen
  • Events: Nicole Bissonnette

If you want to get involved with any committee, please contact the chair directly, or let me know and I can put you in touch. Any PDCC member can join any committee, and any registered Democrat in Portland can be a PDCC member.

As I’m chairing the Issues Committee, I’d also like to announce our first meeting: this coming Monday, 12/10, at 5:30pm. If you want to help expand voting rights and turn other parts of our platform into policy, I encourage you to attend and get involved. If you can make it, please RSVP using this form.

As usual, our monthly meeting of the PDCC will be the second Thursday of the month (12/13), from 6:30pm-8pm. This month, it’s in the State of Maine room at City HallIf you’re on Facebook, please RSVP there.

Finally, with so many opportunities for progress in front of us, we need to do some serious fundraising in order to support our work. I’ll be working with Cynthia and the rest of the Finance Committee to put together a pledge drive, but you can help by starting a monthly donation today.

If all of the 29,260 registered Democrats in Portland donated just $1 per month, we’d have an annual budget of $351,120 — enough money to open a permanent office and hire a full-time staff. That’s certainly a lofty goal, but I believe we should dream big, and that we can actually achieve it if we work together. Since it will be a while until we get every Democrat to donate, you can help by starting a $12 monthly donation to cover a dozen Democrats (including yourself).

I look forward to working with you and all of the other Portland Democrats over the next two years. Together, we can make some serious progressive change in Portland and beyond.


Sam Tracy headshot

Sam Tracy
Chairman, Portland Democratic City Committee

Candidate statements for Thursday’s PDCC meeting at Mechanics’ Hall


The big election is over, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, Democrats in Maine and across the country had a great night! We’re grateful for everyone who volunteered with the Dems or with any candidates during the past few months, those wins wouldn’t have been possible without you. THANK YOU for all you did.

But there’s still one big election to think about: the election for officers of the Portland Democrats! This Thursday, November 15, our monthly meeting will be focused on electing a new chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and secretary. All four seats have two-year terms, meaning whoever wins these seats will serve until November 2020.

Three of our four officers have decided not to run for re-election, meaning there are a lot of openings (and of course, you can always challenge incumbents too). We currently have three declared candidates, whose statements I have included below.

If you want to run for any of these four positions, please let me know! If you tell me ahead of time, I can email out your statement to the full list. Nominations can also be taken on the floor, so you can always decide to run at the last minute or nominate someone else who you think would do the job well. The only official qualification is that officers must be registered Democrats from Portland.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday! Please be advised that we’re at Mechanic’s Hall, rather than at City Hall. We’ll also have free food & drink to celebrate our big wins together.

If you’re on Facebook, please RSVP there:


Sam Tracy
Chair, Portland Democrats

Meeting details

Location: Mechanic’s Hall, 519 Congress Street, Portland ME. Third floor.

Time: 6:30pm-8pm

Candidate statements


Sam Tracy

Sam Tracy is the current chair of the Portland Democrats, and is running for re-election. Sam became the chair in August 2018 after filling in the term of previous chair Sarah Alexander. In the few months since he has taken leadership of the PDCC, he has focused on increasing turnout among Portland voters in the 2018 election, starting up the long-planned Block Captain program, and planning for the long-term growth of the Committee.

If re-elected to serve a full term as chair, Sam plans to focus primarily on recruitment with the long-term goal of making the PDCC a dominant force in the 2020 elections and beyond. This includes a renewed focus on the Issues Committee and activism on specific issues that concern Democrats locally, growing & sustaining the Block Captain program, and recruiting new members to revitalize our monthly meetings and get the numerous subcommittees back up and running.


Elizabeth Murphy

Elizabeth Murphy chose Portland as her home 12 years ago and has never regretted it. Except maybe sometimes – just for a few minutes – in late February.   She has a passion for social justice, and spent the past 25 years working on behalf of children. She currently manages programs at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. She writes and edits for fun as well as at work, and also enjoys travel, being outdoors, good books, and hanging out with her husband Sean and daughter Sarah.



If you want to run, please email Nominations will also be taken on the floor.


Doug Lynch

I am most pleased to step up for the nomination as the Portland Democratic City Committee Secretary.  I’m firmly convinced that time that local engagement is essential for our democratic survival. I became active in the PDCC during the NH primary, canvassing for Bernie.  I also worked with other members staffing the massive Maine Democratic primary. Throughout the 2016 campaign I worked as to support Democratic victory.

A vibrant organization requires active work by members beyond those in leadership positions. For that reason I’ve devoted my energies to the PDCC Issues Committee. I’ve also drafted the initial minutes for the PDCC to allow the Secretary to devote attention to other more immediate demands.  I look forward to serving the PDCC.