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Justin Chenette
American politician

Justin Chenette

Justin Chenette
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American politician
Is Politician
From United States of America
Field Politics
Gender male
Birth 23 April 1991
Age 31 years
Star sign Taurus
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Justin Chenette is a Democratic member of the Maine House of Representatives for District 15 representing the City of Saco. Chenette made history at age 21 becoming the youngest legislator in Maine and the youngest openly-gay legislator in the United States.

Early life, education, & journalism

Chenette was born in St. Albans, Vermont. He is the son of Jennifer Minthorn and Dr. Steven Mark Chenette. His father died in 2000 when Chenette was just nine years old from complications of diabetes. Chenette's step father is Saco City Councilor, Alan Minthorn.

Chenette graduated high school from Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. While in high school, Chenette was the station manager, executive producer, anchor, reporter, and host of Thornton Academy's TATV Channel 3, Saco's educational television station. TATV is one of the only student-run educational TV stations in the country. At the station, Chenette hosted a public affairs show he created, The Issue and produced three live election results shows. His work was recognized by the Student Television Network by honoring Chenette as the 2009 Student Broadcast Journalist of the Year.

Based on his media efforts in high school, Chenette was selected as a Gannett Journalism Scholar for two consecutive years in 2009 and 2010. After interning at WPFO FOX 23 in Portland, Maine in 2011, Chenette was offered a job created as the assistant morning producer of their news program, Good Day Maine. Chenette worked on developing new segments and booked various entertainment and informative guests for the show. He also updated FOX's website on the weekends as web producer.

Chenette took courses through the early studies program at the University College at Saco and at the University of Southern Maine. He went to graduate a semester early from Lyndon State College with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, Associate degree in TV news, and minors in political science and multimedia communications.

Early political career

In 2008, Governor John Baldacci appointed Chenette to the Maine State Board of Education making him the first student member in the history of the board at age 17. In his 16-month term, Chenette pushed for civic engagement curriculum, a universal grading system, increased drug prevention, and to shore up the educational disparity between northern and southern Maine. Chenette served on the Student Voices Committee.

In May 2012, Chenette was elected at the Maine State Democratic Convention as an at-large delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention down in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chenette was one of the youngest members of Maine's delegation to the DNC.

Chenette served as an intern for Republican U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe prior to her retirement in 2012.

Business

Chenette works at the Journal Tribune, a newspaper located in Biddeford, as their Digital Advertising Executive. There he started two new initiatives, JT CARES, a nonprofit charitable arm of the paper, and JT MEDIA, a full service marketing arm that provides a range of new media services to businesses. In 2013, Chenette started his first small business, Chenette Media LLC, a multimedia public relations company based in Saco. He previously worked at Rocky Coast Marketing, a full service advertising and marketing firm, as vice-president of social media, specializing in web creation/management, media relations, and social media outreach.

Maine House of Representatives

2012 election

Chenette announced his first run for public office at the age 20, while he was still attending college, when the sitting State Representative Linda Valentino was termed out and seeking the State Senate seat. He announced his intention of running for the open State House seat in Saco being vacated by then Rep. Linda Valentino due to term limits. He faced a Democratic challenger in the June Primary.

Chenette was elected in 2012 to the Maine House of Representatives after winning the Democratic primary for the seat against challenger Sonya Lundh-Gay with 78% of the vote, and going on to win the general election over Republican challenger Roland Wyman with 60% of the vote.

2014 election

Chenette was unopposed in his re-election to the newly redrawn district 15 in the June Primary. He went on to face Saco Republican Chairwoman Carol Patterson in the General Election replacing Republican candidate Frederick Fortier who dropped out of the race. There was controversy surrounding the transparency of his replacement in selecting Patterson. In what many considered to be a wave election for Republicans, Chenette won re-election two percentage points higher than his previous election with 62% of the vote.

Committee assignments and caucuses

  • Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee (2014–Present)
  • State & Local Government Committee (2012-2014)
  • Legislative Youth Caucus, Co-Chair (2012–Present)

Electoral history

Maine Senate Primary Election 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Justin Chenette 1,321 56
Democratic Barry Hobbins 1,042 44

Maine House of Representatives District 15 General Election 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Justin Chenette 2,451 62
Republican Carol Patterson 1,508 38

Maine House of Representatives District 134 General Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Justin Chenette 3,074 60
Republican Roland Wyman 2,028 40

Maine House of Representatives District 134 Primary Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Justin Chenette 543 78
Democratic Sonya Lundh-Gay 154 22

Personal life

The Advocate magazine named Chenette “an architect of the next decade” and listed him among the 40 Under 40 most accomplished leaders throughout the country in 2013 as the youngest openly gay legislator. In Maine, he is one of five openly gay members of the Maine Legislature

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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