SACO - State Senator Justin Chenette has turned in the required signatures needed to be placed on the ballot for re-election to the Senate seat representing the communities of Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington, and part of Buxton. He is the first candidate in the Senate District 31 race to do so.
Chenette has served 4 consecutive terms in the legislature with 4 years in the Senate and 4 years in the House of Representatives under his belt. At 28, Chenette continues to be the youngest member of the Senate. He is the Chair of the bipartisan Government Oversight Committee, Chair of the Marijuana Advisory Commission, Co-Chair of the Democracy Reform Caucus, and is a member of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee, Senate Ethics Committee, and the Maine Climate Council's Coastal & Marine Working Group. Chenette also serves as a Citizen Trade Policy Commissioner.
“I’ve always had a personal governing philosophy that legislators need to be the peoples’ lobbyist. It is, after all, your seat not mine,” said Sen. Chenette. “After years of fighting, advocating, and persisting, I’ve finally broken through the establishment to achieve sizable progress in creating a more ethical state house.”
This past term, Chenette has championed and passed comprehensive campaign finance reform that bans lobbyist contributions to lawmakers and candidates, closes the revolving door of legislators becoming lobbyists, and ends the ability of legislators to use political action committees as personal slush funds. Aside from ethics, Chenette also passed legislation that adds water in Maine statutes as a public right, overhauls our anti-bullying laws to ensure student safety, bans offshore oil drilling, and creates added consumer protections from robocall harassment.
“It’s critical we have a Senator that not only talks about leadership, but delivers real results both at the state house and here at home,” says Sen. Chenette. “I’ve been working around the clock to ensure the Maine Turnpike Authority moves forward on the $40 million project to open up Saco’s old exit, coordinate the Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner visit to Saco to discuss how the state can be a partner in Camp Ellis erosion mitigation, and push the Department of Education to discuss additional ways to fund school construction projects like Young School.”
Chenette is in the process of getting qualified as a Clean Elections candidate, collecting only $5 contributions from 535 voters in the district by the April deadline. He is once again refusing lobbyist, corporate, PAC, and special interest contributions. If individuals would like to help out, they can visit www.KeepJustin.com.
Justin Chenette doesn’t just talk about getting involved in the community, he acts.
When Veterans from the OOB American Legion came to him about wanting to get more fellow Veterans involved in the Memorial Day parade, he jumped into action. Justin worked with town officials in Old Orchard Beach to designate this past Memorial Day as a free parking day for any and all veterans. A small token of appreciation for their dedicated service.
Last year through his nonprofit organization, Justin raised $1,500 for the establishment of a new grant to assist Veterans to take adult-education classes locally for free. The goal is to help Veterans get back into the workforce after their service. Those interested can contact the OOB Saco Adult Ed program for more information on how to qualify.
He has also spoken every year at the VA2K Walk in Saco that collects household goods for veterans most in need, marched in both the OOB and Saco Memorial Day parades, participated in the Saco Veteran’s Day Parade, and toured the Arthur B. Huot House in Saco, which is a transitional housing program for homeless vets.
In the Legislature, Justin has supported Veterans in numerous ways. Making it easier for children of Veterans to finish college and for more service members to access their benefits. As a member of the House of Representatives, Justin voted to ensure those in the Maine National Guard can go to an in-state community college or university for free. In the Senate, he has fought to expand tax breaks for more Veterans.
Join me in keeping Justin Chenette right where he needs to be, in the State Senate.
Noah Poulin, Saco
I’m supporting Justin Chenette for re-election to the state Senate because of his commitment to the community. When I think of someone who has community spirit, I think of Justin. He is proud of his community and he is always out at community events. I felt like I knew him before I actually met him, simply because I saw him so often. I like this for many reasons but an important one is that I know he is in touch with his constituents.
As president of Saco’s downtown development organization, Saco Main Street, Justin has worked to promote small businesses, organize large-scale events and help our downtown thrive. He promotes a positive image of our community to attract visitors and future businesses alike. Justin is also vice president of Friends of the OOB Ballpark, member of the Saco Bay Rotary Club, and a member of the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce.
I think we should elect a senator who devotes time and attention where it’s needed most, right here at home. I hope you join me in supporting Justin Chenette for state Senate on Nov. 6.
Lisa Petit, Saco
The Legislature has seemingly been undermining everything voters pass at the ballot box. It’s almost as if our vote doesn’t matter. I don’t understand why elected officials simply don’t listen to the people.
Sen. Justin Chenette however, gets it. He has been a leading voice of reason in a sea of chaos. Trying to defend free and fair election results and force the governor and his colleagues to abide by them. What a concept.
Justin has supported efforts to fully implement every passed referendum from minimum wage to ranked choice voting. His efforts to protect and increase education funding were successful, but sadly the referendum mechanism to continue that higher level of funding beyond one budget cycle was removed. At least he is fighting to protect our democratic intuitions.
Back in 2015, Maine voters overwhelmingly voted to approve $15 million in affordable senior housing bonds. These resources would be used directly for the construction of new senior housing for those on fixed incomes. Since then Gov. Paul LePage has refused to release the bonds. Meanwhile, the state of Maine is faced with an ever increasing crisis with waiting lists and a lack of housing options. Justin has taken Gov. LePage to task for not releasing these voter-approved bonds, even questioning him directly in front of his committee publicly. He voted to mandate the governor to release the bond, but not enough colleagues joined him.
We need a senator who is going to stand up for and respect the will of the voters. Justin does that and more.
Old Orchard Beach
End Citizens United (ECU) announced today that its state level project, Fight for Reform, is endorsing Justin Chenette for re-election in Senate District 31. This endorsement is a recognition of Justin’s leadership in the struggle to fix our broken political system.
"We need a government that is on the side of the people," says Senator Chenette. "I will not rest until we have more ethical, transparent, and accountable legislature."
As a member of the Senate Committee on Conduct & Ethics, Senator Chenette has worked to strengthen campaign finance rules and has fought to make Maine have the strongest ethics rules in the entire country.
Senator Chenette doesn’t run a PAC and refuses to accept contributions from lobbyists, corporations, and special interest groups as a Clean Election candidate.
End Citizens United and Fight For Reform as its non-federal arm, are the largest grassroots organization focused on the fight against undisclosed and unlimited money that is corrupting our politics. They are committed to supporting champions who will fundamentally change our political system.
READ MORE: http://endcitizensunited.org/press-releases/ecu-backs-new-slate-state-level-reformers/
I support sending Justin Chenette back to the state Senate this November.
I had the privilege of meeting Justin a few years ago at one of the elementary schools in Saco, where he actively volunteers. His enthusiasm and dedication to our youth is exemplary. Justin is focused on issues that students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members care about, including raising awareness on anti-bullying, childhood literacy and getting kids outside. He has had lunch with fifth graders where he discussed issues they have, has read to first, second, third, fourth, and fifth graders not just in Saco but also in Old Orchard Beach, and really listens to what students have to say.
I have the best campaign team around. I couldn't do it without them. They have all shadowed me at the State House and paged in the Senate, not to mention volunteer with me in the community. They are all going places! Here they are from left to right:
Noah Poulin is an incoming Senior at Thornton Academy. His interest is in law enforcement, policing, and community. His parents run the Bradley Street Deli, he works at Saco Parks & Rec, and play hockey. Noah is our Youth Volunteer Coordinator.
Natalie Ben-Ami has probably been with me the longest. She helped out on previous campaigns. She is also an incoming Senior at Thornton Academy. Her mom and uncle are on the Saco School Board and you might see her managing our local Hannaford. She is heavily involved on campus especially in the orchestra and plays. Natalie is our Deputy Campaign Manager.
Cole Cochrane is an incoming 8th grader at Saco Middle School. He loves volunteering and has a deep interest in politics. His parents run Starstruck Video Cafe in Old Orchard Beach. Cole is an intern on the campaign.
Ashley Gonzalez has also volunteered with our campaign in the past. She is an incoming Senior at Thornton Academy. Her interest is in math and science. She hopes to go into the medical sciences one day, possibly Doctor. Ashley is bilingual and towards the top of her class academically. She is our Field Director.
If you'd like to join the team, sign up to volunteer! We are looking for folks to help us at events, write letters to the editor, and knock on doors. http://www.keepjustin.com/volunteer.html
Republican nominee Stavros Mendros’ history of ethics violations as a candidate and as a political operative stretches back over a decade
Stavros Mendros, a Republican political operative and former state legislator, was nominated by York County Republicans and filed paperwork with the Maine Ethics Commission to run against Democratic Senator Justin Chenette.
Mendros is well-known in Maine for his involvement in several ethical scandals surrounding ballot initiatives and signature gathering efforts, with the most recent controversy stemming from his work for Republican Senate candidate Max Linn this year. Linn turned in ballot access petitions to the Secretary of State’s office that contained the signatures of dead people.
Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement:
“The contrast between these two candidates right out of the gate couldn’t be clearer. Senator Justin Chenette is a member of the ethics committee and one of the most upstanding members of the Maine Senate, while his new opponent has consistently had to defend himself against charges of ethical wrongdoing.
“The Maine Republican Party should be condemning Mendros, not recruiting and endorsing him for public office. Every Republican candidate should let us know whether or not they support Mendros and his unethical conduct.
“Democrats have fielded a competitive candidate in all 35 Maine Senate districts, while Maine Republicans had such a hard time finding a candidate for this race that they nominated a scandal-plagued former Representative of Lewiston to run for a Senate seat in York County. Coupled with their inability to recruit candidates in three other Senate races, it speaks volumes about what Republicans think their chances are in November.”
Contact: Chris Glynn | 207-357-3507
Stavros Mendros of Hollis selected at York County GOP Caucus to become new Republican Nominee
“Shame on the GOP for swapping out candidates for a lifelong Lewiston politician who just moved into our community to campaign,” says Senator Justin Chenette and member of the Senate Committee on Conduct & Ethics.
“My opponent is the epitome of what’s wrong with politics with a long history as a shady political operative profiting off casino referendums. His unethical actions have led to multiple fines from the Maine Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance laws, a guilty plea for misusing his position as a Notary Public, and was recently ousted as the Androscoggin County GOP Chair because of missing funds. I’m running to clean up the system by strengthening ethics while my opponent is running to continue profiting off playing the game.”
As a member of the Senate Committee on Conduct & Ethics, Senator Chenette has worked to strengthen campaign finance rules and has fought to make Maine have the strongest ethics rules in the entire country. He has introduced legislation to:
"We're just like everyone else." My husband Eduard and I decided to film this mini-documentary about our own personal journeys of self and societal acceptance in light of this being Pride Month.
We talk about growing up different, what getting married meant to both of us, and how normal our life is.
Hopefully this can help someone struggling with who they are know that it really does get better and to live your truth.