AUGUSTA, Maine — Rep. Jeff Gifford, who represented the Lincoln area for nearly a decade in the Maine House of Representatives, died Sunday at age 75.
Gifford was first elected in 2004 and spent eight years in Augusta before returning to his seat in the 2020 election. He is unopposed in Tuesday’s primary for the party’s nomination and will be able to be replaced by fellow Republicans after Election Day.
After graduating from Lincoln’s Mattanawcook Academy in 1964, Gifford started working at the paper mill in his hometown and spent his entire career in the industry, also coaching youth football for 25 years and serving as a selectman there for 16 years.
Gifford was “a devoted public servant” who was “steadfast in his beliefs and concern for others,” House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, R-Oxford, said in a statement.
“Thank you to the Gifford family for sharing such a great man with all of us through the years,” Rep. Kathy Javner, R-Chester, said in a Facebook post. “He will never be forgotten.”
Gifford served on the forestry committee in the Legislature and often worked on gaming legislation, including one in 2014 that would have allowed the former Scarborough Downs harness racing track to operate as a racino, hotel and retail destination. He was part of a group that took part in a 2012 economic mission to Quebec.
He is survived by his wife, Irene, three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.