Former Governor of Maine Joe Brennan dies at 89

 April 7, 2024

Joe Brennan, the former Governor of Maine, was found dead in his Portland, Maine, home on Friday evening at the age of 89.

Brennan spent over half a century in politics and was one of the biggest power players in Maine's political theater. His career began all the way back in 1965 serving terms in both houses of the state legislature.

He would briefly serve as a district attorney and then would become the state attorney general which put him in a prime position to shoot for the top.

In 1978, Brennan ran for Governor and won the election, and then won another term in 1982.

Following his two terms in the Governor's Mansion, Brennan then ran to represent Maine’s 1st Congressional District in 1986 and served as a Representative to Congress for two terms.

Successful career

Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) issued a statement in recognition of Brennan's passing celebrating his contributions to Maine and his years in public service.

Mills stated, "Maine and the nation have lost a great public servant, and I have lost a friend… Joe Brennan never stopped working to improve the lives of Maine people."

Mills has a long history with Brennan as he appointed her to be Maine's first female district attorney in 1980.

She would continue to make firsts by becoming Maine's first female governor in 2019.

She credits much of her success in politics to Brennan and as such recognized that without him, she wouldn't be where she is today.

Her statement continued, "Governor Brennan demonstrated for me and others that politics is about building relationships, that public service is not about enriching yourself but about enriching the lives of others, and that the most important relationship is the one we have with the people we serve."

Working-class Democrat

Brennan advertised himself as a working-class Democrat, who have become increasingly rare in the present day. He was one of eight siblings born to Irish immigrants and was an Army veteran serving from 1953 to 1955.

He was well-liked in Democrat circles and rubbed shoulders with the likes of former President Joe Biden who was a Senator for Delaware at the time.

Brennan's passing is yet another reminder that American politics has changed radically in the past half-century and the old familiar faces are mostly gone now.

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