SACO - State Representative Justin Chenette (D-Saco) has announced a bid for the state senate seat that will be vacated by long time legislator, Sen. Linda Valentino.
Valentino made the announcement of her retirement from politics Sunday afternoon at the Saco and Old Orchard Beach presidential caucuses. She is also set to endorse Chenette in what is believed to be a contested Democratic primary.
Valentino represents District 31 in the state senate, which includes Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington, and part of Buxton and has served a collective 12 years in the legislature.
“We have an opportunity to hit the reset button at the State House, to expand upon the consensus building and strong advocacy efforts of Sen. Valentino,” says Chenette. “I hope to continue her legacy of fighting for our community and bringing both sides together to better our state.”
Chenette, at age 24, has served 4 years in the Maine House of Representatives serving on the State & Local Government and Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committees. He is currently co-chair of the Legislature’s bipartisan youth caucus, state director of the Young Elected Officials Network, and has pushed for legislation expanding a tax credit to help address student loan debt and tackle campaign finance reform.
Aside from his legislative responsibilities, Chenette is a small business owner of a multimedia company, Chenette Media LLC, and works at the Journal Tribune.
Chenette is the President/CEO of a nonprofit he founded, the Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement and is active in the community through various groups such as the Saco Bay Rotary Club, Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce, Buxton-Hollis Historical Society, and sits on the Saco Main Street board of directors focusing on downtown development.
“It’s not just about knowing the process or simply passing a bill, it’s about helping people right down the street. It’s time we put public service back into politics.”
The primary election will take place June 14th.