Steve Mistler

Chief Political Correspondent and State House Bureau Chief

Steve has been a journalist for nearly two decades, specializing in the coverage of politics and state government. His work has been recognized by the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association for investigative projects and accountability journalism. He was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his coverage of municipal government for The Forecaster in Falmouth and, later, for his coverage of state government for the Sun Journal in Lewiston.

Steve became the state house bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in 2012. After four years with Maine’s largest daily newspaper, Steve made the leap to radio journalism, joining Maine Public in May 2016.

Steve is married with one child and has two crazy dogs. His family lives in Brunswick.

Ways to Connect

Maine Public/file

The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Chief Ricker Hamilton after he failed to show up for questioning about his agency's response to an investigation into the state’s child welfare system and the death of two young girls.

The group backing Maine's public campaign finance law has sued Gov. Paul LePage for refusing to sign financial orders so that candidates who have qualified for the program can receive campaign funds.

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections filed the lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court Thursday morning.

"We don't take an action like this lightly,” said John Brautigam, an attorney for the group. “We feel like it's time for the court to intervene.”

Steven Senne / AP Photo

Late Tuesday night, lawmakers agreed on a bill that will dramatically overhaul the state's medical marijuana program.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

A sweeping overhaul of Maine's medical marijuana law is on its way to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The bill makes it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients by removing current qualifying medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The Maine Legislature will return for another day Tuesday after its slog through a pile of unfinished work came to a halt because of a disagreement over bonds.

Ringelstein Campaign

U.S. Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein was was released after posting a $1,000 bond early Saturday morning.

Ringelstein was arrested Friday outside of a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, after blocking access to a detention facility.

According to Ringelstein, the facility was holding immigrant children separated from their parents.

Maine Public

A number of high-profile bills remain unresolved as the Maine Legislature is approaching the end of its three day special session.

Lawmakers sent several proposals to Gov. Paul LePage, including a $41 million spending bill to provide funding to help the elderly and disabled, as well as people suffering from opioid use disorders.

A $35 million bill to fund the implementation of Medicaid expansion has also passed, but it faces a likely veto by LePage.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Maine Democrats rallied at the State House Thursday to show support for their nominee for governor, Attorney General Janet Mills.

The event was held roughly 10 hours after Mills' victory in a seven-way primary was confirmed, after a runoff vote in the nation's first statewide ranked-choice voting primary.

Mills will now face Republican candidate Shawn Moody, the founder of a chain of auto body repair shops who is touting his business experience. Moody has vowed to continue LePage's policy agenda.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Attorney General Janet Mills is the Democratic nominee for governor, according to official results from Maine’s first ranked-choice voting election announced by the Maine Secretary of State Wednesday.

The Maine Legislature is chipping away at a host of unresolved bills during a special three-day session in Augusta.

The House took a preliminary vote on a $41 million spending bill that provides funding to help people with disabilities, the elderly and those suffering from opioid use disorders.

And the Senate took an early vote on a bipartisan compromise designed to better align Maine's tax code with recent changes made by last year's federal tax overhaul.

Maine Department of the Secretary of State Facebook Page

It could be a little while longer until the winner of the Democratic Gubernatorial primary is revealed.

Deputy Secretary of state Julie Flynn has announced that the scans the office got of ballots from five towns – Gray, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Orland and Westbrook – weren't clear enough to be read by the program that'll count the votes.

Results from nation's first statewide ranked-choice voting election could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she opposes the Trump administration policy that has separated at least 2,000 immigrant children from their parents at the Mexico border, but that she is not on board with a Democratic bill that would force the administration to abandon a policy that has produced widespread condemnation.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Updated 2 p.m. Friday

The nation's first statewide ranked-choice voting count is underway in Augusta.

At stake is the winner of the seven-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, which did not produce a majority winner after Tuesday's initial count.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Now that the June primary is over - sort of - we turn to Maine Public's two political correspondents, Steve Mistler and Mal Leary, for some analysis of the results.  They spoke with Maine Calling host Jennifer Rooks earlier about some of Tuesday night's surprises - including, says Mistler, the Republican gubernatorial primary in which Shawn Moody got the nomination.

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