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Emily Ann Cain (born March 29, 1980) is an American politician from Maine and Executive Director of EMILY's List. A member of the Democratic Party, Cain served in the Maine Senate from 2012 to 2014, representing the 30th district which includes part of Penobscot County. She was previously a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 2004 to 2012, where she served as Minority Leader from 2008 to 2010 and as House Chair of the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee from 2010 to 2012.

Emily Cain
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 30th district
In office
December 5, 2012 – December 3, 2014
Preceded byElizabeth Schneider
Succeeded byJim Dill
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
January 1, 2005 – December 5, 2012
Preceded byJonathan Thomas
Succeeded byRyan Tipping-Spitz
Personal details
Emily Ann Cain

(1980-03-29) March 29, 1980 (age 39)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Daniel Williams
EducationUniversity of Maine, Orono (BA)
Harvard University (EdM)
University of Chicago
WebsiteCampaign website

Cain was the 2014 and 2016 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for Maine's 2nd congressional district[1][2] in two of the most competitive house races in the country. She lost both elections to Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin.


Early life, education and careerEdit

Emily Cain was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to the south side suburbs of Chicago, Illinois before the age of one. Her father, who has been working in the shoe business since he was 14 years old, ran stores for Florsheim Shoes and later worked for G.H. Bass & Co in Maine. Her mother is a sign-language interpreter and educator.[3] Cain lived in Ililinois until age nine, and then in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, graduating from Lawrence High School[4] and then moving to Maine with her family at the age of eighteen. Cain attended the University of Maine and has lived in Orono since 1998. She received her Bachelor of Music Education in 2002, graduating with highest honors from the UMaine Honors College. In 2004, Cain graduated from Harvard University, receiving her Master of Education in Higher Education. As of 2017, she was pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maine.[5]

Cain worked at the University of Maine for more than a decade in the Honors College as the Coordinator of Advancement. After UMaine, she worked as a consultant for Jobs for Maine's Graduates, a private non-profit education and workforce training program.[6]

After the 2016 elections, Cain became the Chief Strategy Officer of HistoryIT, a Maine-based technology and services company focused on digital archives.

On June 15, 2017, Cain was tapped to be the executive director for EMILY's List, a national organization which works to support pro-choice Democratic women running for elected office.[7]

Maine LegislatureEdit

Maine House of RepresentativesEdit

She was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2004 at the age of 24, defeating Republican William Reed and Green Independent Mark Horton.[8] She was reelected to a second term with 78% of the vote, defeating Republican Lance Cowan in 2006, and won a third term running unopposed in the general election in 2008.[9][10] She won her fourth term to the house in 2010, defeating Republican Zachary David Jackman with 67% of the vote.[11] In her final term in the Maine House, during the 125th legislature, Cain served as the Minority Leader from 2010 to 2012.

During her time in the House, Cain served on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and the Joint Rules Committee. She served as Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Research, Economic Development and the Innovation Economy in 2006, and also served as the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on School District Reorganization in 2007.[12] From 2008 to 2010, Cain served as House Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, leading tough negotiations to successfully pass five unanimous bipartisan budgets.

Cain was the first Democrat to serve as House Minority Leader since the mid-1970s. She held this position for one term and led Maine House Democrats back into the majority during the 2012 elections.

In 2009, Cain was one of over sixty co-sponsors in the House of LD 1020, legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine.[13] At a house hearing in 2009, Cain said that "Equality was one of the main reasons why I ran for legislature. Marriage is not about gender and sexuality, it's about keeping Maine families together."[14]

Maine SenateEdit

In December 2011, Cain announced she would seek to replace fellow Democrat Elizabeth Schneider in the Maine Senate, running for Maine's 30th district. Schneider was unable to run due to term-limits, as Cain was also unable run for the House of Representatives again because of the same limits.[15] She won in the Democratic primary, going on to defeat Republican Roderick Hathaway with 62% of the vote in the November general election.[16] Cain served as a state delegate for Maine at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[17]

Cain served on the Senate Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, and was the Senate Chair of the Senate Government Oversight Committee.[18]

In April 2013, Cain co-sponsored a Joint Amendment supporting comprehensive immigration reform that addresses "earned legalization with a path to citizenship, updated future immigration of families and workers and improved immigration enforcement and border security."[19] Cain has also co-sponsored a Joint Amendment calling on Congress to support an amendment to the United States Constitution overturning the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in order to "regulate the raising and spending of money in elections".[20][21]

Congressional campaignsEdit


Cain won the Democratic primary election for Maine's 2nd congressional district, beating State Senate Majority Leader Troy Dale Jackson.[1] She was defeated by former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin in the general election. Poliquin won 47% of the vote, with Cain taking 42% and independent Blaine Richardson taking 11%.[22]


Cain ran for U.S. Congress again in 2016, facing a rematch with incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin in the general election.[23][24] Poliquin defeated Cain with 55% of the vote.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Cain is married to Daniel B. Williams, who has served as the Executive Director of the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine since 2014, and is a former member of the Maine House of Representatives.[26] They reside in Orono, Maine.


  1. ^ a b Moretto, Mario (June 10, 2014). "Emily Cain wins Democrats' 2nd District primary". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  2. ^ Lachman, Samantha (November 5, 2014). "Bruce Poliquin Wins Midterm Election In Maine". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ Cover, Susan M. (November 28, 2010). "A new stage for a strong House voice". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  4. ^ Maine Central Institute. "Representative Emily Cain".
  5. ^ University of Maine (November 12, 2010). "Honors College Staffer Emily Cain Among Honored Alumni".
  6. ^ Moretto, Mario (March 3, 2015). "Emily Cain announces 2016 bid for Congress". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Maine Department of the Secretary of State (November 2, 2004). "General Election Tabulations November 2, 2004 STATE REPRESENTATIVE". Archived from the original on March 20, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Maine Department of the Secretary of State (November 7, 2006). "General Election Tabulations November 7, 2006 State Representative by District". Archived from the original on March 18, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Maine Department of the Secretary of State (November 4, 2008). "General Election Tabulations November 4, 2008 State Representative Districts 1-50". Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Maine Department of the Secretary of State (November 2, 2010). "General Election Tabulations November 2, 2010 State Representative by District and Town". Archived from the original on April 25, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Biographical Profile for Emily Ann Cain".
  13. ^ Macey Hall; The Maine Campus (April 20, 2009). "Mainers to speak on gay marriage bill April 22". Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ Abigail Cuffey; University of Southern Maine Free Press (April 27, 2009). "Gay marriage bill debated in Augusta".
  15. ^ "Cain declares candidacy for state Senate". Sun Journal (Lewiston). December 14, 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  16. ^ Maine Department of the Secretary of State (November 6, 2012). "November 6, 2012 General Election Tabulations State Senate by District and Town". Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ Real Clear Politics (September 6, 2012). "GOP sees Biden as a boon, but Dems stand by him".
  18. ^ Bangor Daily News (March 4, 2013). "Community meeting in Orono to focus on state's proposed budget".
  19. ^ Project Vote Smart (April 30, 2013). "SP 550 - Alleges Support For Comprehensive Immigration Reform - Key Vote".
  20. ^ Project Vote Smart (April 30, 2013). "SP 548 - Urges Congress to Adopt a Constitutional Amendment Regarding Campaign Finance - Key Vote".
  22. ^ "Maine 2nd District - Poliquin vs. Cain vs. Richardson". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  23. ^ Shepherd, Michael (March 3, 2015). "Cain seeks 2016 rematch for Maine's 2nd District seat". Kennebec Journal. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Democrat Baldacci drops out of 2nd District race". Kennebeck Journal. February 5, 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  25. ^ Shepherd, Michael (November 9, 2016). "Poliquin wins re-election over Cain in Maine's 2nd District". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  26. ^ University of Maine (January 7, 2008). "Williams Appointed to University of Maine Foundation Post".

External linksEdit