Outspoken voice for House GOP is leaving the State House — and maybe Maine

David Sorensen, who for two years has been the most high-profile legislative staffer in Maine, is leaving his post as communications director for the House Republican Office.

Sorensen had taken a leave of absence from the State House to be spokesman for the Maine GOP during this year’s election, which resulted in sweeping wins for Republicans, who won the governorship, 2nd Congressional District and a new majority in the Maine Senate.

Sorensen confirmed Thursday that he won’t be returning to the House Republicans this year. He said he’s leaving the job because he’s received several other offers, both in and out of Maine, since the election. He demurred, however, on what those offers are.

“Whatever I do, I want to help get the conservative message out, help Republicans win and help reform government,” he said.

Sorensen, a recent graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, began his work with the House GOP in November 2011, as a policy aide. In July 2012, he became the caucus’ new communications director. It was his job to coordinate and promote the message and agenda of the incoming caucus, led by House Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport.

One of Sorensen’s key tasks was to work with the media, with whom he was an aggressive, relentless advocate for conservative ideals and policies.

Sorensen approached the job with verve. Communications directors will often move in the background — facilitating media access to their bosses, crafting news releases and writing speeches. Sorensen, though, regularly assumed the role not only as spokesman for Fredette and his caucus, but as the face and voice of conservative values and ideas in the State House — a warrior for the GOP, as well as its most staunch defender.

Nowhere was this more evident than online, where Sorensen enthusiastically sparred via social media with liberal activists and pundits about welfare reform, Medicaid expansion, tax policy and campaign strategy.

On Thursday, the outgoing Sorensen said that while a modern communications director should be “aggressive, creative and relentless,” he never sought the spotlight for himself.

“When I was there, all I did was try to advance Ken Fredette’s agenda,” he said. “I think we were successful at that.”

Sorensen’s last day with the Maine GOP was Friday, Nov. 7.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.