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Staff Snapshots | Darek M. Grant

April 1, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Darek M. Grant

Hometown: Augusta, Maine

Role: Secretary of the Maine Senate

Years of legislative service: 18; six as Senate secretary

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

I have always been fascinated with politics and the legislative process. It started when I was younger and served as an honorary page for the day. I loved it so much that I was a page many more times. Later, while at college, I interned in the Senate Majority Office. The experience reinforced my desire to work in the State House. Upon graduation, I was offered an entry-level position as Senate chamber staff. I have been a legislative aide, chief of staff, served in the majority and in the minority, and now secretary of the Senate. Despite the constant changes and unpredictable nature of the Maine Senate, I enjoy coming to the State House every day. I love the history, the pace of work, the early mornings and late nights, the people, and all the chaos that comes with it! It is an honor to serve on behalf of the Senate and to promote and preserve the institution, the process and the history.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

Listening. I feel this can get lost at times, but I’ve always found that listening and trying to understand where someone is coming from can really serve one well.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

I learned so much about being secretary of the Senate from my mentor, Joy O’Brien. Joy was the longest-serving Senate secretary in Maine history. She instilled in me the appreciation for the institution and its unique nature. She taught me to be confident as the secretary and always be prepared. That advice has never let me down.

Who or what inspires you?

Aside from Rob Hunt, clerk of the Maine House, it would be: people. I like to be involved in the community, working with others who are doing the same and giving back. I always want to be doing something that can help make a positive difference. And, seeing people do the same fuels my motivation. My kids, Libby and Callan, play a huge role in this, too. They inspire me every day to “do good” and make the world a better place for all.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

There are so many things to love about Maine. Our state slogan is “The Way Life Should Be,” and it is so true. In the summer, we enjoy the coast, beaches, lakes, lighthouses and lobsters. In the fall, we have the foliage and perfect weather for walks with the dog. In the winter, it may be cold and snowy, but it is great for skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. In the spring, we try to spend time in the small downtowns and villages before the tourists overtake them in the summer!

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

Well, I am always listening to country music, usually George Strait. I am currently reading the journal and debates of Maine’s Constitutional Convention in 1819. Fun stuff. Lastly, I’ve been watching highlights of old baseball games in hopes that we will have a season this year.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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