GOP leader Willette, 24, says he is candidate for Maine’s 2nd District

AUGUSTA — Assistant House Minority Leader Alexander Willette, R-Mapleton, has announced that he will file the necessary paperwork Monday to become a candidate for Maine’s 2nd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Troy R. Bennett/Bangor Daily News

Alex Willette, 24, R-Mapleton, is the State Representative for House District 7 and the Assistant Republican Leader in the House.

Willette, who is in his second term in District 7 of the Maine House, said he will build his campaign around his desire to cut spending and taxes in the federal government and bring jobs to Maine.

“For too long, politicians in Washington have allowed partisan gridlock to get in the way of delivering real results for struggling Mainers,” said Willette in a prepared statement. “When I talk to voters around the 2nd District, from lobstermen in Hancock County to potato farmers in Aroostook County and business owners in Androscoggin County, they talk about sending someone to Congress who will focus on creating good-paying, sustainable jobs instead of kicking the tough decisions down the road.”

The 2nd Congressional District seat was put into play last month when its current occupant, Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, announced that he is seriously considering a campaign for governor.Numerous people have indicated interest in the seat, though the only person other than Willette to formally announce a candidacy so far is Maine Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono, who made her announcement two weeks ago.

Willette, 24, who is calling his campaign “Jobs NOW! for Maine,” has served as the assistant house minority leader since December. According to his campaign, he is the youngest-ever member of Legislative leadership and currently the youngest legislative leader in the United States. He said his youth and conservative values would serve Mainers well.

“We need fresh, new leadership in Washington,” said Willette. “I represent the generation of Mainers who will be forced to pay off the enormous debts now being created by the reckless politicians in Washington. It’s very important for our generation to figure out this debt problem.”

Willette said during a telephone interview Sunday night that despite his youth, he has a history of involvement in Maine’s Republican party. In addition to working on campaigns for others, Willette was the leader of the Maine College Republicans and his father, Michael Willette of Presque Isle, served two terms in the Maine House.

Willette, who was born in Presque Isle and raised in Mapleton, said he decided to run for Congress after being encouraged to do so by numerous party officials and constituents of the 2nd District.

“I think my youth will certainly be an advantage in the primary,” he said. “I’m not a career politician.”

Willette earned a political science degree from the University of Maine at Farmington and just finished up his second year at the University of Maine School of Law. He is currently a real estate broker for his family’s business, Big Bear Real Estate.

Willette, who is married, said he will continue to serve in the Legislature during the campaign. He said more formal announcements about campaign staff and events will be made in the coming weeks.

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Nathan McCarron's picture

Does he meet the age requirement?

Article says he's 24. Will he meet the US House age requirement before the primary?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

“I’m not a career politician.”

That's what they all say! We shall see....

Amedeo Lauria's picture

OMG a young person in Maine with a job running for office...

It never fails to amaze me when I read these despicable snide attacks.

A young person in Maine wants to make a difference in his state and becomes the object of ridicule.

Alex is graduate of a Maine college and working in a challenging field of employment, sales, while working towards a degree in law I think any reasonable Mainer would be glad to have him as a son.

Is he any different then a young man that follows his father into the trades, plumbing or electrical work. Please stop the shallow hypocrisy!

Shame on you all!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Would that include

A young person in Maine wants to make a difference in his state and becomes the object of ridicule.

SO does that include the others as well?
Those that want to work and serve for the state, that want to help make change, that difference as they are young workers serving the state that too are ridiculed and slammed, that are in a union doing the same work of serving the state?????

Going full circle connects the universe.

RONALD RIML's picture

He should be in the Armed Forces learning Leadership

We both know that, Amedeo......

Amedeo Lauria's picture

There is more than one pathway

to service to our country.

I always encourage military service; but do not see the lack of it as either a negative or positive thing. It is what it is.

We chose our pathway, he chose his and I respect his choice and wish him the best.

We should encourage our young people to participate in the running of our nation and in its protection.

The freedom to be able to chose makes our nation a great one.

Mark Wrenn's picture


"He is currently a real estate broker for his family’s business, Big Bear Real Estate." Must've been hard landing that gig! What did you have to do? Be born?

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Same old, same old

Republicans talk a lot about jobs, but how can you create jobs by cutting Federal spending. LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion which cost Maine 4500 jobs and $350,000,000. Meanwhile Lepage's business owner friendly administration is 44th in job growth and last in New England. Note a disconnect here.
Jobs are just a Republican talking point. They have no plans to actually create jobs. They have no plans to improve the state's economy. Its their economy they want to improve; its their jobs they want to create.


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