A Democrat who served as state labor commissioner for nearly eight year is seeking the state Senate seat that covers most of Lincoln County as well as part of Knox and Kennebec counties.

Laura Fortman of Nobleboro registered Thursday, Dec. 28 with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to seek the Maine Senate District 13 seat currently held by Republican Dana Dow of Waldoboro.

Dow has filed to run for re-election. Another Republican Gordon Colby had filed but later withdrew his registration for the District 13 seat.

“I’ve spent my professional life fighting for social and economic justice, and working to find comprehensive, sustainable policy solutions to challenges that matter in the day-to-day lives of people,” Fortman said in a news release issued Dec. 29.

Fortman began her career working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and served as executive director of the Maine Women's Lobby and Policy Center. She was nominated in 2003 by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci and confirmed by the State Senate as Maine’s Labor Commissioner. She held that post for almost eight years, and later served three-and-a-half years at the U.S. Department of Labor as deputy administrator of the wage and hour division.

Fortman is currently working as a consultant with national non-profit policy organizations and educational institutions. She has a bachelor's of art degree in history from the University of New Hampshire and earned her master’s degree in leadership at Northeastern University in Boston. She has lived in Lincoln County with her husband Dennis Mercer since 1985. Their daughter, Heather Fortman, attended Great Salt Bay School and Lincoln Academy.

Maine State Senate District 13 includes most of Lincoln County, plus the town of Washington in Knox County and Windsor in Kennebec County.