Senator Justin Chenette is serving his second term as the youngest legislator in the Maine Senate, where he represents Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington, and part of Buxton. He is currently the chair of the bipartisan Government Oversight Committee, co-chair of the Democracy Reform Caucus, and is a member of both the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee. Justin also serves as a Citizen Trade Policy Commissioner.
In 2012, Justin made history by becoming the nation’s youngest openly gay legislator and Maine’s youngest lawmaker at age 21. He was elected to two terms in the Maine House of Representatives representing the City of Saco and was a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, State and Local Government Committee, and was co-chair of the Legislature’s bipartisan youth caucus. The Advocate magazine named him “an architect of the next decade” in 2013 and listed him among the 40 Under 40 most accomplished leaders throughout the country.
Justin’s political career began at age 17 when Governor John Baldacci appointed him to serve on the Maine State Board of Education, making history to become its first student board member. He spent the following two summers interning at Saco City Hall. He was instrumental in re-establishing the Maine Young Democrats, a state affiliate of the Young Democrats of America, serving as its president for two years. When he was chosen to be a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he interned for Republican U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe before her retirement.
Prior to legislative service, Justin had been a TV anchor, producer, reporter, and columnist for various media outlets including WPXT, WPME, FOX 23, KATV, CTN, Biddeford Access, Caledonian-Record, Journal Tribune, Courier, Portland Daily Sun, and the Vermont Center for Community Journalism. He is best known in Saco for his role managing TATV Channel 3 and hosting his own public affairs show while still in high school. He also served on the Society of Professional Journalists National Diversity Committee.
He currently works as a licensed Realtor at the Bean Group, as the Saco Sport & Fitness’s marketing coordinator, and as a small business owner, running his own marketing and public relations firm, Chenette Media LLC.
After attending Saco public schools, he graduated high school from Thornton Academy while taking a full semester of college courses at the University of Southern Maine. Justin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast News with minors in Political Science and Multimedia Communications from Northern Vermont University-Lyndon.
Justin lives in Saco with his husband, Eduard, who works as an environmental engineer, an adjunct professor of physics for the University of New England, and serves as co-chair of the Saco Conservation Commission.
Justin founded a non-profit organization to advance arts education, connect veterans to job training, help students afford college, and increase volunteerism, investing nearly $10,000 into the community. He continues this work through his nonprofit scholarship fund. Justin is also Vice President and past President of Saco’s downtown revitalization organization, Saco Main Street; Vice President of the Friends of the Old Orchard Beach Ballpark, and is a member of the Saco Bay Rotary Club, Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Buxton-Hollis Historical Society.
- Thornton Academy
- Lyndon State College, Bachelor of Science, Broadcasting; Associate of Science, TV News. Minors: Political science, multimedia communications.