Thibodeau resigns from Portland City Council for Biden administration post

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Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau resigned Sept. 19 to take a job with the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.

Thibodeau, 33, previously announced he would not seek a third term on the council this fall. The 2019 mayoral candidate recently endorsed former Councilor Jon Hinck in the District 2 election on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Spencer Thibodeau
Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau has resigned to go to work for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Thibodeau’s term was slated to expire in December. Mayor Kate Snyder will replace Thibodeau as chair of the Housing & Economic Development Committee until new councilors are sworn in and committee assignments are made.

In his resignation letter, Thibodeau praised the work the council was able to accomplish while he served, mentioning “integral investments in our city-wide infrastructure and schools, while advancing policies to address a housing crisis, a climate crisis, and even a global pandemic.”

In 2020, Thibodeau, who has been an attorney with the Verrill law firm in Portland, served as a senior adviser in Maine for the Biden for President campaign.

“Because of the lessons I have learned from the challenges we have faced together, I am more prepared than ever to serve in my new capacity as a member of the Biden-Harris Administration,” Thibodeau said in the resignation letter. “In my new role, I will continue to keep the City of Portland and the State of Maine at the forefront of my service to this nation.”

On Monday, Thibodeau said he will be working in the Energy Department’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. Although he has not yet moved to the nation’s capital, his first day on the job was Monday, Sept. 20.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep serving,” he said. 

Thibodeau also thanked his family for its support over the years and thanked colleagues on the City Council and city staff for their work together during his council tenure.

“It’s so difficult to put into words the hard work that goes on behind the scenes … to make a municipality work,” Thibodeau said on Monday. “To do those things we need good people to continue to step up and serve their communities. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve mine, coincidentally the one I grew up in. It was a humbling experience, you learn a lot about yourself and your neighbors. So I’m super grateful.”

Snyder and City Manager Jon Jennings thanked Thibodeau for his service in a press release Monday.

“I wish him all the best in D.C., and I’d like to thank him for all that he’s done for his constituents and for the community as a whole,” Snyder said in the statement. “Portland is a better place because of his contributions.” 

Jennings is also leaving the city earlier than expected, after agreeing to become the city manager in Clearwater, Florida. His last day in Portland will be Nov. 1.