Following the unexpected announcement that State Sen. Linda Valentino (D) will not seek re-election for a third term in the senate, there has been a seismic shift in the city of Saco’s political landscape.
State Rep. Justin Chenette — Valentino’s protegé — announced simultaneously that he would seek Valentino’s seat. Both moves were kept secret until they were announced on these pages just two days before Saco’s Democratic Caucus.
State Rep. Barry Hobbins, a Democrat who served the district as a state senator for four terms before Valentino, said he was caught off guard by the announcement.
During Sunday’s Caucus, Hobbins praised Valentino’s leadership and announced that he also would seek his party’s nomination for the senate seat.
That leaves the city of Saco with two open House seats.
According to Chenette’s Facebook page, which has become his temporary, default campaign headquarters, Katie Purdy, a political newcomer and Chenette supporter, will seek Justin’s House seat that represents the north and western portions of the city.
A more experienced candidate will seek Hobbins’ House seat, which represents the south eastern section of the city.
Donna Bailey, a well-known Democrat, will make her first legislative run.
A former York County Probate judge, Bailey has lived in Saco for 23 years. She is married with two children and two grandchildren.
She previously served on the Saco Zoning Board of Appeals and is currently serving as a member of the city’s Planning Board.
She is an attorney practicing probate, family and real estate law.
No word yet on Republican candidates for either the Senate seat or two open House seats in Saco. Stay tuned.