Former Maine legislator Justin Chenette has announced his candidacy for York County Commissioner District 3 in the 2022 elections. Courtesy Photo/Eduard Chenette

SACO — Former Maine legislator Justin Chenette has launched a bid for York County commissioner in District 3, representing Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Buxton, and Hollis in the 2022 elections. The district currently includes Dayton, but will no longer next year, when it becomes part of  District 4 as a result of reapportionment.

Chenette, 30, said he is seeking a more accessible, transparent, and accountable government.

“The county commission shouldn’t be Maine’s lost level of government,” he said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “Sadly, we don’t see a lot of attention paid to county government actions and that directly stems from our elected officials not engaging the public throughout the decision-making process. I’m seeking to change that with a new generation of leadership on the commission.”

The seat is currently held by Commissioner Allen Sicard, who is serving his first four-year term on the county board.

Both Sicard and Chenette are Democrats and each live in Saco. If both run, they would face off in a primary in June 2022, with the winner going on to run in the November election that year.

Sicard said he will announce his plans by the end of the year.


“(It is) too early to talk politics,” said Sicard in a message. “We’re focused on county business and dispersing the $40 million in American Rescue Plan funds.”

Chenette said he would hold monthly office hours, attend community events, and provide frequent updates through social media, email newsletters and newspapers to keep the public informed and seek feedback. To encourage greater participation, he said, he would also like to see meetings held in the evening; they currently are scheduled at  4:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

When first elected to the Maine House of Representatives Chenette was 21, and was the youngest legislator in the country at the time. He served two terms in the House and two in the Maine Senate — and had launched a bid for a third Senate term in the 2020 election before withdrawing in August that year. At the time, he pointed out he had served eight consecutive years in the Legislature. “After spending nearly a decade in office, this decision will enable me to amplify my impact in whatever I decide to do next,” he said at the time. Among his legislative duties was a stint as chair of the Government Oversight Committee.

He is a member of the Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee.

York County Board of Commissioners is a five member panel, representing the county’s 29 municipalities in five districts. Two other terms expire in 2022: District 2, currently represented by Democrat Richard Dutremble of Biddeford, includes Arundel, Biddeford, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport. District 1, currently represented by Republican Robert Andrews of Lebanon, includes  Acton, Berwick, Cornish, Lebanon, Limington, Newfield, North Berwick, Parsonsfield, Shapleigh, and South Berwick.

Departments under the helm of county government include the county registry of deeds, registry of probate; York County Sheriff’s Office, which includes rural patrol, the jail and civil process; the county emergency management agency, administration and its associated functions and facilities. At the York County District Attorney’s Office, all departmental support staff are York County employees; the salaries of the elected district attorney and her assistant district attorneys is paid by the state, as in all of the state’s eight prosecutorial districts.

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