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Maine Governor-elect Janet Mills speaks to supporters after her victory on election night 2018
November 9, 2018

UMass Boston alumna elected Governor of Maine


  • Boston
Governor-elect Janet Mills '70 will be the first female Governor in Maine history

Janet Trafton Mills, a 1970 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, was elected governor of Maine last night, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the state’s history.

Mills, a Democrat who has served as the state’s attorney general for six years, will replace outgoing Republican Paul LaPage. She received 50 percent of the vote, beating out the Republican candidate, Shawn Moody (43 percent), and an independent, Terry Hayes (6 percent).

“I do hope this election sends a powerful signal, a message to women and girls of Maine of any age: there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome. None!” Mills told the crowd at her victory party, according to the Portland Press Herald. “There is nothing you can’t do!”

“UMass Boston is immensely proud of our alumna, Janet Mills BA ’70, whose historic victory makes her the first woman to be elected governor in the history of the state of Maine,” noted Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “Governor-elect Mills will be a beacon of progress for our neighbor to the north, and we will welcome her back to her alma mater as often as possible. If you ever wondered what an excellent Humanities degree from UMass Boston can do for you, wonder no longer: it qualifies you to be a groundbreaking governor!”

Mills received her bachelor of arts in French from UMass Boston and went on to earn her law degree in 1976 at the University of Maine. Her extensive service to the state includes positions as assistant attorney general, regional attorney general, state representative, and attorney general — the first woman to hold the position. She also co-founded the Maine Women’s Lobby to advocate for battered and abused women.