PORTLAND, Maine -- Jeff Butland, whose public service career spanned a decade in the State House and included one term as Senate president, died Sunday after a heart attack. He was 53.
Mr. Butland, New England administrator of the US Small Business Administration, had served on the Cumberland Town Council before being elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1987. He served in the House for four years and in the Maine Senate for six more years.
Born in Portland, he was a Bates College graduate who served for four years in the Marine Corps and 22 years in the Marine Reserve. He also had worked for L.L. Bean as an operational planner, beginning in 1984.
Former governor Jock McKernan said that the day he swore Mr. Butland in as Senate president was one of the highlights of his time in office.
Mr. Butland was the first Republican to hold the job after more than 10 years of Democratic dominance.
"He was a unique political leader," McKernan said.
Mr. Butland left the Senate in 1998, and in 2002 was appointed to the federal post.
Mr. Butland leaves his wife, Nancy, and their four children.