Kate Merchant Snyder (born 1970) is an American non-profit executive and politician from Maine. Snyder is the mayor-elect of Portland, Maine following the 2019 Portland, Maine mayoral election. She defeated incumbent Ethan Strimling and two other challengers, winning each of the city's 12 districts and earning 62 percent of the overall vote. She served on the Portland Board of Education from 2007-2013, including time as chair.
Prior to her election as mayor, she served as executive director of the Portland Education Foundation, a non-profit which raised funds for Portland Public Schools.
During her campaign for mayor, Snyder emphasized her skills as a collaborative leader and consensus builder, someone focused on putting public service ahead of personal ambition. On October 17, 2019, she received the endorsement of the Portland Press Herald, which pointed to her record of fiscal responsibility and strong communication while serving on the School Board during the Great Recession and underscored the need for change in Portland city leadership, which had been characterized by ongoing tension between the sitting mayor and city councilors. She is viewed as an ally of city manager Jon Jennings, "whose vocal opposition to Strimling’s re-election all but functioned as an endorsement of his most competitive challengers." Among her policies, she opposed a $15 municipal minimum wage, supported making city transportation more accessible by "eliminating fare for the city’s METRO bus system for middle- and high school students," and sought to give long-term leases of city property to housing developers committed to building affordable housing.
Snyder earned her B.A. from Skidmore College in New York and a M.A. in Public Policy & Management from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine as well as a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Applied Research and Evaluation Methods. She is married, lives in the city's Oakdale neighborhood, and has 3 children who were educated in the Portland Public Schools system.
- Billings, Randy (6 November 2019). "Kate Snyder wins heated race for Portland mayor, unseating incumbent Ethan Strimling". Press Herald. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "Kate Snyder - Portland Education Foundation". The Maine Mag. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- Randy BillingsStaff Writer (2019-10-09). "Kate Snyder says she wants to put service ahead of ambition as Portland mayor". Press Herald. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- Board, The Editorial (2019-10-17). "Our Endorsement: Kate Snyder is our choice for Portland mayor". Press Herald. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- Schroeder, Nick (5 November 2019). "Kate Snyder unseats Ethan Strimling in Portland mayoral race". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- Zeli, Anthony (10 June 2019). "Kate Snyder: Mayor as Steward". The West End News.
- Billings, Randy (26 March 2019). "Former school board chair announces run for Portland mayor". Press Herald. Retrieved 6 November 2019.