Gorham Democrats scheduled a nomination caucus Wednesday night to pick a new candidate to replace Rep. Christopher Barstow in the race against Jane Knapp, the Republican candidate for House District 129.

The event was held after American Journal deadline.

Dennis Ela, a retired educator, announced he would seek the nomination shortly after Barstow withdrew from the race. Ela has since retracted his bid for the seat. He did not return phone calls for comment.

A new candidate has now announced he would seek the nomination. Dan LeVasseur is the 25-year old manager of 21st Century Motors, a used-car dealership on Route 25 in Gorham. He was recently elected as the president of the board of the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus and was a board member of the Southern Maine Pride Committee for three years.

It was not expected that anyone would challenge LeVasseur for the Democratic nomination to District 129 on Wednesday night.

Barstow, who held the seat for six years, stepped down from the race early last month. He also resigned his position as Buxton’s recreation director after an audit found he had been mismanaging town money.

Barstow initially said his resignation as recreation director and the subsequent police investigation into his accounting practices would not hinder him from seeking a fourth term. Barstow is waiting for police to finish the investigation, which he hopes will clear his name. Buxton Police Chief Jody Thomas is in charge of the investigation, but has recently resigned her position and is on vacation through Sunday, her last day.

LeVasseur, originally from Presque Isle, moved to Portland in the fall of 2002 and to Gorham in 2003, when he became manager of 21st Century Motors. LeVasseur has an associate’s degree in new media and a certificate in business management from Southern Maine Community College. He teaches Web design and was a delegate to the Maine Democratic Convention.

“I’ve always loved politics,” LeVasseur said. “I’ve always loved the idea of trying to make a difference.”

LeVasseur said his first focus would be on energy and public utilities, and said there are “too many inflated costs.” He is also devoted to elder and veteran rights.

More information on LeVasseur can be found on his Web site, www.danlevasseur.com.


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