Photo: Governor John Baldacci with Marine Alex Cornell du Houx before his deployment to Iraq

by Amber Cronin

June 28th, 2012 ·

This article appeared on June 28, in the Forecaster

BRUNSWICK — State Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx is showing no immediate signs of ending his re-election bid, although he is hedging his bet. Cornell du Houx, a Democrat, sent a letter to constituents this week, detailing his achievements in the past year. The letter was mailed June 25 to 7,000 voters in House District 66.

In addition to citing the what Cornell du Houx has done in the Legislature, the letter assured voters that he was not distracted from his job by “a recent personal incident that made headlines last May” or comments made by Maine’s Democratic Party Chairman, Ben Grant.

On May 14, Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, withdrew a request in Belfast District Court for an order of protection from abuse against Cornell du Houx. The pair had been in a romantic relationship. After the relationship dissolved, Herbig claimed Cornell du Houx invaded her privacy in several ways. An investigation into the claims was opened by the Maine State Police, but the investigation was closed on May 11 before the pair reached an agreement later that evening.

It was widely reported that Grant said that he believed the situation was a distraction for Cornell du Houx and that he should drop his bid for re-election.

Cornell du Houx fired back, noting the claims by Herbig had been dropped and that he has been out “doing the work of the people,” knocking on doors and shaking the hands of as many people as possible.

But before deciding whether to continue his re-election campaign, Cornell du Houx said he is polling constituents to test voter attitudes toward the situation. He said he will announce his decision at a future date.

“Rep. Cornell du Houx is waiting to receive additional information before making any public statement about his future plans,” a press release issued on behalf of the lawmaker said.

Cornell du Houx is on a U.S. State Department trip to Australia.

His mother, Ramona du Houx, said that people should judge his ability to do his job on his record.

“He really feels strongly about representing the people of District 66, and he’s dedicated his life to serving the public,” she said. “His record is a strong testament to what he does. People should be judged by their actions, not by allegations.”

Grant could not be reached for comment and the Brunswick Democratic Party Committee Chairman, Andy Cashman, declined to comment on the record.

Cornell du Houx will face a familiar opponent in the November election, Green Independent Party candidate Fred Horch. In 2010, Cornell du Houx narrowly defeated Horch, who plans to get into the race after current Green candidate David Frans withdraws his name “at the proper time,” Horch said previously.

THE LETTER:

State Representative
Alexander Cornell du Houx
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
207-319-4511 >
acornell@alexcornell.org

June 15, 2012

Dear ,

Recently there were sensationalized press reports throughout the state concerning me. I refrained from commenting about them because I believe personal issues should not be public and I knew that I would be officially cleared of any wrongdoing. I regret any distress this may have caused you. The complaint was withdrawn and dismissed by the court. The state police never saw the need to even interview me, and they stopped the investigation.

In Steve Mistler’s PPH article he reported, “Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the agency today said police had concluded their investigation on Friday. Cornell du Houx has not been interviewed by authorities.” The issue is officially closed. I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support that I received.

At no time did my duties to serve the people in our community falter. In fact, while working on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee we successfully held back efforts to ram through proposals that would have undercut energy efficiency and Maine’s renewable energy standards. What is especially rewarding to me is that, in a recent major economics report, the policies we kept in place have been proven to bolster Maine’s economy.

“Our strong team, led by members like Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx and Rep. Mark Dion were able to negotiate effectively. At the end of the day, we did what was best for Maine ratepayers, residential consumers and businesses alike,” said Rep. Jon Hinck, who serves on my committee, in a press report.

I wrote and we passed a law to weatherize the Statehouse, which will save taxpayers money and shows lawmakers can lead by example. I was also successful in passing legislation to reduce the state’s dependency on oil, which improves our energy security and economic security. Gov. LePage praised another law of mine that protects oil and gas consumers. Ensuring our state and our country meet our veteran’s needs continues to be a passion of mine and I worked on many veteran’s issues, including the first ever women veteran’s memorial at the State House and women veteran’s recognition program to honor their service.

Many of you know me as a Marine, and I’m proud of my service abroad. Recently, I was commissioned into the Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer by Admiral Johnson, who
commanded the United States Sixth Fleet. We conduct operational support for US Central Command (Middle East operations).

In a new book — On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials — I was fortunate to become one of seven state lawmakers whose stories are highlighted by Jeff L. Thigpen. I am honored to be in the book, as Jeff said he chose me for my commitment to community service, public service, and service to my country.

“Alex’s personal story exudes a profound sense of duty, honor, and service to country — as an officer in the Navy, community leader, and in the Maine State Legislature. Those unique values have shaped his advocacy work for veterans, renewable energy, and energy independence,” said Jeff in a recent press report.

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell wrote an introduction to the book. I’m incredibly honored that he said, “Alex’s commitment to serving the greater good may be equaled by a rare few, but it is surpassed by none.”

I am dedicated to serving and protecting my community as your representative, through coaching, tutoring, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, chairing the Mitchell Scholar Alumni Council, and as on officer in the Navy.

I also believe in fostering relations for the greater good of our community, state and country. At the end of June, I will be leading a delegation to Australia on a State Department trip for an exchange in government-to-government cross-cultural relations. The more the world knows about the great opportunities in Brunswick the better. Previously, I have traveled to Malaysia, Indonesia, and China in a similar manner.

I am honored to serve you as your representative in Augusta. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve and protect our community and our country. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Truly Yours,

Representative Alex Cornell du Houx
Produced at my own expense and on recycled paper.