BRUNSWICK — State Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx has ended his bid for re-election in House District 66 to focus his energies on “continuing his public service with the Navy.”
The Brunswick Democrat’s decision was announced a little after 3 p.m. Friday, June 29, by his mother, Ramona du Houx.
Brunswick Democrats will pick a new candidate on July 14.
After finishing his current term, Cornell du Houx will report for active duty as a U.S. Navy public affairs officer, providing operational support for U.S. Central Command in the Middle East.
“While on active duty, I am prohibited to work in any political manner, as members of the military are sworn to protect the Constitution and follow the orders of civilian political leaders,” Cornell du Houx said Sunday. “I won’t be able to be at the Statehouse to properly represent my constituents of District 66.”
Cornell du Houx said he originally requested an active duty date that did not coincide with the next legislative session, but that request was not granted. He said that he could go through the process to request another date, but he wants to serve his constituents in another way.
“The events of late have given me time to consider the best way to continue in public service while I move forward with my future,” he said. “I have chosen to take this opportunity to serve my community, state and nation by progressing my career in the Navy.”
The decision comes after a long couple of months for the 28-year-old, two-term legislator.
In May he faced an investigation by the Maine State Police because of stalking claims made by his ex-fiance, Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast. The police investigation into the claims ended on May 11; on May 14, Herbig withdrew her request in Belfast District Court for an order of protection from abuse against Cornell du Houx.
But their dispute led Maine State Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant to suggest du Houx should end his campaign. Grant said on Friday that he is glad that Cornell du Houx has decided to do what he has been telling people in the party he would do.
“I think the important thing for the party is that now we are able to move forward to do the work to find a good candidate for that district to replace Alex,” Grant said. “I just think it’s good for everyone that we’re going to be able to move on from that episode.”
Andy Cashman, chairman of the Brunswick Democratic Town Committee, said the committee will caucus at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, at Curtis Memorial Library to fill the vacancy on the November ballot. Members of the committee who live in District 66 will be the only ones allowed to vote in the caucus.
“The Brunswick Democratic Town Committee deeply appreciates (Cornell du Houx’s) service to the people of Brunwick and to the state and to his country,” Cashman said. “Given his decision, we’re going to be focused on helping to identify a candidate from District 66 that will provide the voters in that district with the best choice for November.”
Cashman said that no one has come forward as of yet to declare their desire to run.
Cornell du Houx did not rule out the possiblity of running for office again.
“I am looking forward to serving my community, state and nation as an officer in the Navy,” he said. “I wish to thank the people of Brunswick for your support. It has truly been an honor to serve you. I hope you will give me another opportunty to represent you in Augusta in the future.”
Updated on July 1 and July 5, 2012.
Cornell du Houx