Jean Hay Bright grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of a steelworker and a seamstress. She and her first husband, a Vietnam veteran, moved to Maine in 1972 to go "back to the land," homesteading on 25 acres they bought from Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of Living the Good Life. They had two children, and were divorced in 1979.

In 1975, Jean became a reporter and later Hancock County bureau chief for the Bangor Daily News. She left that position in 1985 to open Hay's Farmstand on her 10-acre organic farm across from the Blue Hill Fairgrounds.

In the late 1980s she served on the board of MOFGA. An environmental activist, Jean helped in the fight in the early 1990s to keep AES from building a coal-burning power plant in Bucksport.

With political activism a growing focus, Jean closed the farmstand in 1992 and went to work as a Legislative Assistant to Maine's Democratic 1st District Congressman Tom Andrews.

Jean ran for Congress in Maine's 2nd CD in 1994 and for U.S. Senate in 1996, both times as the progressive candidate in the Maine Democratic primaries. Her first book, Proud to Be a Card-Carrying, Flag-Waving, Patriotic American Liberal (1996) is a collection of her writings on many political topics, including choice, civil rights and worker rights.

Jean's second book, A Tale of Dirty Tricks So Bizarre - Susan Collins v. Public Record (2002) is an inside look at Maine's 1996 U.S. Senate race.

Her third book, Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life (2003) details Jean's homesteading days on Cape Rosier in Maine, and tells how Helen and Scott Nearing impacted her life.

Jean's writings and columns have appeared in the Aroostook Democrat, the Maine Progressive, Feminist Times, Yankee Magazine, Providence Journal, Maine Times, Penobscot Bay Press, The Progressive Populist, and Farmstead Magazine.

Returning to college in 1997, she graduated from the University of Maine with honors in May 1998. Jean served for a time as managing editor of The Enterprise, Bucksport, Maine; became marketing manager for Common Courage Press in Monroe, Maine, followed by a stint (2001-2002) in commercial sales at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion and Winslow, Maine.

Jean is married to David Bright, a former reporter, editor, and agriculture columnist for the Bangor Daily News who is now a computer installation specialist. They live on BrightBerry Farm, a 30-acre MOFGA-certified organic farm in Dixmont, where they are developing a pick-your-own-raspberry operation.


1993            Legislative Assistant, Congressman Tom Andrews
1994            Candidate, 2nd CD Democratic Primary (won by John Baldacci)
1996            Candidate, Democratic Primary, U.S. Senate (won by Joe Brennan)
2000            Candidate, State Senate District 10 (clean election)
2002-04       Dixmont Democratic Party Town Chair
2004            Dixmont Caucus Convener
2004            Kucinich Alternate, Maine Democratic Convention
2004-2005    Founding Board Member, Maine Progressive Caucus
2004-Now     Member, Progressive Democrats of America
1996-Now     Member, Penobscot County Democratic Committee
1994-2000    Political Columnist, Aroostook Democrat (Roger Roy, editor)
2002-2003    Political Columnist, Bangor Broadside (David Walsh, editor)

Books (all currently available on
1996            Proud to Be a Card-Carrying, Flag-Waving, Patriotic American Liberal
2002            A Tale of Dirty Tricks So Bizarre: Susan Collins v. Public Record
2003            Meanwhile Next Door to the Good Life

Job History
1966-67       Front Office, Belinda Hospital, Ventura, California
1968-69       Admissions, Gulfport Memorial Hospital, Gulfport, Mississippi
1970-71       Editorial Assistant, Providence Journal, South County office
1972-79       Homesteader, Harborside, Maine
1975-85       Reporter, Bureau Chief, Columnist, Bangor Daily News
1984-92       Organic Farmer, Hay's Farm Stand, Blue Hill, Maine
1993            Legislative Assistant, Congressman Tom Andrews
1997-98       Student, University of Maine, Orono (graduated 1998)
1998-99       Managing Editor, The Enterprise weekly newspaper, Bucksport
1999            Marketing Manger, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine
2001-02       Commercial Sales, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine
1999-Now     Organic Farmer, BrightBerry Farm, Dixmont, Maine

Maine Progressive Caucus (Board member 2004-2005)
MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association)
       (Board Member 1988-89)
       (Certified Organic Grower since 1987)
National Organization for Women (NOW)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU since 1988)
Peace & Justice Center, Bangor
Unitarian Universalist Church, Ellsworth
Maine Media Women
Good Life Center Board of Stewards, Harborside Maine, 1995-2003

Age: 58
Husband: David Bright (2nd marriage)
Two grown children, two grown step-children
Born: Youngstown, Ohio, daughter of a steelworker
Moved to Maine: 1972
Attended: Youngstown University, Youngstown, Ohio 1965-1966
               University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, 1968-1969
Graduated: University of Maine, Orono 1998
                 Bachelor of University Studies (with a focus on Journalism)