Trahan officially resigns; Senate District 20 seat empty until Feb. 14

Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, has officially resigned from his seat in the Maine Senate, effective Dec. 31, 2011.

Trahan’s seat was empty Wednesday when the 125th Legislature’s 2nd regular session convened. Trahan announced earlier this year that he would step down after he was named director of the powerful Sportman’s Alliance of Maine lobby.

The Lincoln County senator has held the District 20 seat since 2008. Prior to that, he served four terms in the House of Representatives.

Even though Trahan has begun his job at SAM, he kept his Senate seat through 2011 because he wanted to continue work on the Taxation Committee.

“I have been involved with a complex constituent matter which has taken a considerable amount of time to try to bring to resolution,” Trahan wrote in his resignation letter to Senate President Kevin Raye. “I was hopeful that it would have come to fruition by this point, but the matter still remains unsettled. Unfortunately, I cannot wait any longer for this issue to be resolved.”

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office announced on Wednesday that a special election for the Senate District 20 seat will be set for Feb. 14.

Tuesday, Jan. 17 is the deadline for nominations.

The Republican candidate is likely to be Rep. Leslie Fossel, who has filed paperwork with the Maine Ethics Commission. The Democratic candidate is expected to be Chris Johnson of Somerville, who has run for that seat before.

Since Republicans hold a 20-14 majority in the Senate, the outcome of that special election will not tip the balance.