Treasurer Terry Hayes, Governor (ME)
Running for: Gov. of Maine
Teresea “Terry” Hayes is Maine’s first independent State Treasurer, and a candidate to become Maine’s Governor in 2018. As an independent, Terry isn’t backed by any political party. As a Clean Elections candidate, she’s not beholden to any special interests. Terry is one of us, for us.
An outsider on the inside of state government, Treasurer Hayes has a track record of challenging politics as usual in Augusta and forging consensus between Republicans and Democrats. The Bangor Daily News has called Terry a “maverick” with “bipartisan gravitas.”
Terry’s beliefs are based on common sense, not on conservative or liberal ideologies. She’s a problem solver, not a fighter. “We’ve had enough fighting in Augusta,” says Terry. “We need a Governor who will bring people together and solve problems.":
When Governor Paul LePage halted $600 million in transportation investments because he didn’t like the attorney who was hired as bond counsel, it was Terry who walked the Governor back and brokered a compromise that released the money and put 4,500 Mainers back to work fixing Maine’s roads and bridges.
When Democratic and Republican leadership drew partisan lines over how to manage Maine’s unorganized territories, it was Terry who stepped in and helped to negotiate a compromise bill that improved land use management policies and practices to protect our forests and waterways, preserve our heritage, and expand public input.
When Maine had the opportunity to create special tax-advantaged bank accounts for persons with disabilities, Terry worked tirelessly to research the options. She consulted with disabled citizens and their advocates; she solicited Maine banks to come up with a strategy that met both the needs of the disabled and the federal requirements; and she found that these accounts could be implemented without legislative action.
Terry’s earned the respect of people across the political spectrum for her no-nonsense, non-partisan leadership, and for her work to restore civility in politics -- she’s never run a negative ad, and she never will. Terry’s experience as an outsider in Augusta has also shaped her commitment to making government work for those who pay the bills.
“There are good people in Augusta who care deeply about our state and who want to solve problems, but they are stuck in a paradigm that rewards partisanship,” says Terry. “The rules governing our democracy have been written by the powerful to maintain their privilege at the expense of Maine people. As Governor, I will lead with integrity and respect, giving Maine citizens more voice and more choice in our democracy, making government more transparent and accountable to the people, and inviting and encouraging partnership, not partisanship.”
Terry is the second oldest of six children born to Natalie Ridyard, a nurse who worked the night shift at Maine Medical and whose family was from Bath, and Charles Roberts, a Korean War Navy veteran and carpenter from South Portland who built homes in the greater Portland area.
Terry had a “normal” childhood until she was 8 years old, when her mother was diagnosed with severe manic depression and was eventually admitted to the Augusta Mental Health Institute. Terry’s father, unable to care for all six of his children as a single, working parent, was forced to move his four oldest children, including Terry, into a Catholic children’s home in Scarborough. Less than three years later, Terry’s father died in a tragic accident. With Terry’s mother unable to care for her children, family members stepped in to raise them. Terry and her siblings were split up and sent to live with various uncles and aunts. They never lived together again under the same roof.
These childhood experiences shaped Terry’s character and informed her values.
Terry learned that family is everything. They are the people you can count on, those who will always be there to help and to encourage, to center and to remind, to love and to forgive.
Terry learned the value of hard work and the value of a dollar as a teenager working at McDonald’s to pay for tuition to attend McAuley High School, and as a young adult working nights and weekends to put herself through college at Bowdoin. After graduation, Terry taught in Oakland public schools, managed adult education programs in Gardiner and Scarborough, and served as the first education director of the Maine Real Estate Commission in Augusta, while also working as a guardian ad litem advocating for the best interests of children caught up in custody disputes.
Treasurer Hayes represented Buckfield on the MSAD #39 school board for thirteen years, and was then elected as a representative of the citizens of Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, and Paris to the Maine House of Representatives, where she served for eight years. In the Maine Legislature, Terry was elected Assistant Minority Leader by Democrats and served on the Legislative Council. Terry convened the non-partisan Measures of Growth caucus to bring Democrats, Republicans, and independents together to make data-informed decisions. When Terry had completed her legislative service, Republicans nominated her to serve as Maine’s first independent State Treasurer. She was elected to the Office, and then re-elected two years later with support from Democratic, Republican and independent lawmakers.
When asked about her ability to continue serving as State Treasurer while also running for Governor, Terry says, “This isn’t the first time that I have held two full-time jobs.” Like a lot of Mainers, Terry has commonly worked two or more jobs at times during her life while raising a family and serving her community.
Terry met her husband Steve at a restaurant bar in Portland on a Friday night in July 1984. Terry was out with her two oldest sisters when Steve caught her eye from across the room. Terry invited him to join their table, the two of them made plans to spend time together on Saturday, and by Sunday evening they had decided to get hitched. Terry and Steve have been married for 33 years and have three adult children, Charlee, Harry, and Danny, all of whom were born, raised, educated, and live and work in Maine just like their mother. Terry and Steve have four grandchildren. Steve is a practicing therapist with offices in Lewiston and Portland. For the past 29 years, the couple has lived in a former one-room schoolhouse in Buckfield that they converted into their home.
When Terry isn’t hard at work as the State Treasurer, she loves to stay engaged with her family and community: watching high school athletics, reading with her grand daughters, traveling across the beautiful state of Maine, playing Scrabble with friends, and cheering on the New England Patriots. Her favorite outdoor activities include: walking, canoeing, river trips on the St. Croix River, and camping with her husband. Every winter Terry’s friends and family have a “sledding day,” and in the warmer seasons she picks berries and fiddleheads. She is a licensed pilot and loves to take her friends flying. Quality time, adventure, and exploring Maine encompass Terry’s passion for living life to its fullest.