I first became active in politics when my late grandfather, Hon. Theodore Heidrich, Sr., ran for the Maine House of Representatives in 1998. I was in elementary school, and was instantly hooked by the combination of being civically engaged and the fight of a campaign.
I remained active politically throughout middle and high school, and in 2001 was appointed by then-Senate President Richard Bennett to serve on the Maine Legislative Youth Advisory Council. The mission of the Council was to advise the Maine Legislature on issues and legislation pertaining to young people. During my time on the Council, we advised the Legislature on changes to the state’s Office of Substance Abuse, driving laws, foster care system, and education policy. I continued to serve on the Council, being unanimously elected as Co-Chair in 2004, until my graduation from high school.
When I was 16 years old, U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe appointed me as her first Senate Page. Pages play an important role in the daily operation of the Senate. Page duties consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional Complex. Other duties include preparing the chamber for session, taking messages for senators or calling them to the phone, and carrying bills and amendments to the presiding officer’s desk.
I spent two months during the summer of 2003 working directly with Republican senators and chamber staff. Pages lived in dormitory style housing just blocks from the Capitol building. During my free time, I was able to visit sites of historical significance throughout the greater Washington area. For someone who had never visited our nation’s capital before, it was an experience like no other.
I have been fortunate to maintain many of the friendships I formed during my time as a page in Washington.
Following my freshman year of college, I began working as an intern in U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ Lewiston office. The next summer, I was allowed to return to my internship. At the scheduled completion of my internship in August 2007, I was hired onto the senator’s permanent staff.
After spending two and a half years in Lewiston working for Senator Collins’ constituents, I was promoted and moved to her Washington, D.C. office. Where my previous work consisted almost exclusively of constituent service and representing Senator Collins at various community events, my new roles as mail director and systems administrator focused on internally supporting staff.
During my time in her Washington office, I was blessed to work with a team of dedicated employees that work everyday to advance the interests of Mainers on the federal level.
In January of 2012, I returned home to work for Maine’s 100th Speaker of the House, Robert Nutting. My role in his office allowed me to combine all of the unique skills I had developed during my time with Senator Collins.Once again I was interacting with constituents on a regular basis. In addition to being responsible for assisting Speaker Nutting’s constituents, I maintained and expanded his social networking presence. I was also responsible for writing memos, reports, and legislative testimony for the Speaker when needed.
With the outcome of the most recent election, my employment with Speaker Nutting came to an end. It was been a distinct pleasure to work for him and on behalf of his constituents. He assembled a remarkable team, and I am proud to have been a small part of it.
Recently, I accepted a position working as the Assistant Director of Communications for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services.