2016-03-10 / News

Two Democrats to run for seat

SACO – State Sen. Linda Valentino (D–Hollis, Limington, Old Orchard Beach, Saco and part of Buxton) announced at the Democratic caucus last Saturday that she will not seek re-election this year.

Two Democratic state representatives from Saco, Barry Hobbins and Justin Chenette, announced they would seek the position. Valentino is serving her second term in the Senate, and before that, served eight years as a state representative.

“She was elected to the Senate as a very seasoned legislator,” Hobbins said. “She already knew the legislative process thoroughly when she arrived as a senator, and that veteran experience really helped our community in Augusta.”

Hobbins, who represents House District 14 in Saco, has already served several terms in the Maine Senate, from 1988 to 1990 and from 2004 to 2012. Hobbins was also the Democratic floor leader from 2010 to 2012.

Chenette, who represents House District 15, also in Saco, stated in a press release that Valentino has endorsed his campaign for her seat.

“I hope to continue her legacy of fighting for our community and bringing both sides together to better our state,” Chenette said.

Hobbins said he would not have run against Valentino if she sought re-election.

“In my opinion, she would have won re-election very easily, because people know what a hard worker she is,” Hobbins said. “I never would have run directly against her, because she long ago earned my respect for her substantial legislative abilities.”

Chenette, who is the president of a nonprofit he founded, Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement, said his activism and involvement with local groups such as Saco Bay Rotary Club, Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce and Saco Main Street, gives him connections to the community that will help him as a senator.

“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.”

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