Ethan Strimling

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Ethan Strimling
Ethan Strimling 2011 (2) (cropped).png
88th Mayor of Portland, Maine
In office
December 7, 2015 – December 2, 2019
Preceded byMichael F. Brennan
Succeeded byKate Snyder
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 8th district
In office
January 2003 – January 2009
Preceded byAnne Rand
Succeeded byJustin Alfond
Personal details
Born (1967-10-19) October 19, 1967 (age 54)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary Beeaker (former)
EducationJuilliard School
University of Maine, Orono (BA)
Harvard University (MEd)
WebsiteCampaign website

Ethan King Strimling (born October 19, 1967) is an American non-profit executive and politician from Maine. Strimling was elected Mayor of Portland, Maine in 2015. Strimling previously served as a Democratic state senator from 2003 to 2009. After leaving the Maine Senate, he was the Executive Director of LearningWorks, a West End non-profit organization, and has served as a political columnist and commentator for the Portland Press Herald.[1]

Early life[edit]

Ethan Strimling was born and raised in New York City and attended the Juilliard School for Theater from 1985 to 1987. Later, he attended the University of Maine and received his B.A. in History. He then pursued a master's degree in education from Harvard University and received it in 1994. He is Jewish.[2]

After school, he went to Washington, D.C. to work as a legislative aide for then-First District Congressman Tom Andrews. He then came back to Maine to serve as State Senator Dale McCormick's Campaign Manager for her 1996 Congressional race.

Strimling began serving as the Executive Director of Portland West, a non-profit social-service agency that works with at-risk kids and low-income families in Portland's West End, in 1997. Strimling has also served on the boards of several political and non-profit committees, including Maine Won't Discriminate, Casinos NO!, and the Maine NAACP.

Political career[edit]

Strimling's first run for public office was for the Portland City Council in 1999. He was defeated by incumbent Jack Dawson by just 24 votes. During a recount, the City Council awarded 35 disputed ballots to Strimling after his campaign argued that voters who filled in a blank line below his name had intended to vote for him. When Dawson appealed the decision to Maine Superior Court, Strimling announced that he would step aside and give Dawson the council seat.

In 2002, Strimling ran his first campaign for the Maine State Senate to succeed Anne M. Rand. He was elected in his first race with 74% of the vote and again in 2004 with 76%. He was elected for a third term in 2006. In the State Senate, Strimling was the Chair of the Labor Committee and also a member of the Taxation Committee. He has also served as Chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, and in 2006, was Co-Chair of Maine's Homeland Security Task Force.

In 2008, when Democratic Congressman Tom Allen announced that he would challenge U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Strimling declared that he would run for Maine's 1st congressional district. In the June 10 Democratic primary, Strimling finished fourth with 5,833 votes (out of 55,382 votes cast).[3] He was succeeded in the Maine Senate by fellow Democrat Justin Alfond.

In February 2010, when Strimling was appointed to the New England board of the Anti-Defamation League, he became the first Maine resident to be appointed to the position.[4]

On July 26, 2011, Strimling formally announced he was running for Mayor of Portland.[5] Fellow former State Senator Michael F. Brennan won the election.[6]

Strimling and former Republican State Senator Phil Harriman wrote the "Agree to Disagree" column on the Bangor Daily News website,[7] which was named the "2013 Best State Political Blog" by The Washington Post. They are also political analysts for WCSH TV, working in tandem. On May 23, 2014, Strimling and Harriman wrote the last Daily News column and started writing their column for the Portland Press Herald on May 25. Strimling also is an analyst for WGAN radio.[8]

On August 18, 2015, Strimling announced his intention to launch a second campaign for Mayor of Portland in the 2015 election on November 3, 2015.[9] He won the race without needing an instant runoff, obtaining 51% of the vote. Incumbent Mayor Michael Brennan conceded the race at about 10 PM on election night.[10][clarification needed]

Strimling announced his intention to seek a second term as Mayor in the 2019 Portland, Maine mayoral election on June 23, 2019.[11] Strimling lost to Kate Snyder.

In 2020, Strimling played a leading role in People First Portland, a campaign to pass five municipal ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, enact rent control, ban facial recognition surveillance, limit short term rentals, and a Green New Deal. Four out of five initiatives passed (only the short-term rentals limit failed) despite being outspent by the Portland business community and the vocal opposition of Mayor Kate Snyder.[12]

In 2021 Strimling funded a Push Poll showing Maine Senate President Troy Jackson leading former governor Paul LePage in a hypothetical matchup in the 2022 Maine gubernatorial election with current Governor of Maine Janet Mills also polled against LePage.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Strimling and Mary Beeaker were married from 2004-2017. Strimling’s affair with his campaign manager, Stephanie Clifford, led to the end of both their marriages. He has no children and resides in Portland, Maine.[15][16]

Electoral results[edit]

  • 2008 Democratic Primary for Congress - 1st District
  • 2011 Mayoral
    • Michael Brennan 26.76%
    • Ethan Strimling 22.42%
    • Nicholas Mavodones 15.00%
    • David A. Marshall 7.74%
    • Jed Rathband 7.12%
    • Jill Duson 4.26%
    • Markos Miller 3.67%
    • Richard Dodge 3.42%
    • Christopher Vail 2.06%
    • Peter Bryant 1.87%
    • John Eder 1.38%
    • Charles Bragdon 1.09%
    • Hamza Haadoow 0.94%
    • Jodie Lapchick 0.65%
    • Note: Through 14 rounds of instant runoffs, Brennan extended the lead he built on Election Day. During the retabulation process, second choice votes for lower ranked candidates were systematically reallocated to higher ranked candidates until an individual claimed more than 50 percent of the total.
  • 2015 Mayoral
    • Ethan Strimling 51.1%
    • Michael Brennan 38.4%
    • Thomas MacMillan 10.5%
    • Note: Total Votes 17,924. Ranked choice runoff was not in effect as Strimling broke 50 percent in round 1.


  1. ^ "Portland Press Herald Contributors".
  2. ^ "Meet Ethan Strimling, the macher mayor of Portland, Maine". 16 October 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ethan Strimling: First Mainer Appointed to ADL New England Board Anti-Defamation League, February 23, 2010
  5. ^ Strimling to enter Portland mayor's race Portland Press Herald, July 25, 2011
  6. ^ "It's now Mayor Brennan - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. 5 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Agree to Disagree".
  8. ^ "Agree to Disagree: Predicting election results – and stopping many readers' hearts". Maine Sunday Telegram. May 25, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Strimling to announce run for Portland mayor". August 18, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Ethan Strimling elected mayor of Portland". Bangor Daily News. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Portland's mayor launches re-election campaign". WCSH-6 TV. June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "$15 minimum wage, Green New Deal, rent control win in Portland". Maine Beacon. 4 November 2020.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Randy Billings (2016-04-06). "Portland mayor and wife file divorce motions - Portland Press Herald". Press Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  16. ^ "Politics other mistakes what you don't know". 10 March 2016.

External links[edit]