SACO – State Senator Justin Chenette has announced he is withdrawing from the Senate District 31 race, which includes the communities of Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington, and part of Buxton.
Chenette has served 4 consecutive terms and 8 years in the Maine Legislature with 2 terms in the House of Representatives and most recently 2 terms in the Senate. When he was first elected in 2012, he made history as the youngest lawmaker in the country.
“Looking back, I’ve spent every single year of my twenties running for and serving in the Legislature starting at age 20, being sworn into office just a week before graduating from college,” says Chenette. “After spending nearly a decade in office, this decision will enable me to amplify my impact in whatever I decide to do next and was made easier knowing that the district will be in very capable hands.”
Chenette points to the passage of his comprehensive campaign finance reform package this past session as his biggest legislative policy achievement.
“We moved the needle on money in politics, lobbyist influence, and created a more ethical state house so that your voice is heard over donors, corporate lobbyists, and special interest groups that write the biggest check,” says Chenette.
Instead of running for re-election, Chenette plans to empower the next generation of voters through the launch of a civics education organization called the Maine Democracy Project, will publish a full-length children’s book version of his state government coloring book The Great Whoopie Pie Debate, and will be working to help retain Democratic majorities in the Legislature.
Chenette currently serves as the chair of the Government Oversight Committee, co-chair of the Democracy Reform Caucus, chair of the Marijuana Advisory Commission, and is a member of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee, Senate Ethics Committee, Maine Climate Council’s Coastal & Marine Working Group, and is also a Citizen Trade Policy Commissioner.
The York County Democratic Committee will hold a caucus before the August 25th deadline to replace Chenette on the ballot.