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24-Year-Old GOP Lawmaker Runs for House #ME02

Republican state Rep. Alex Willette announced on Monday that he will run in Maine’s 2nd District, a  likely competitive open-seat race in 2014.

Willette is the first Republican to announce a bid for the seat since Rep. Michael H. Michaud, a Democrat, announced last month that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid in the Pine Tree State.

“We need fresh, new leadership in Washington,” said Willette, who at 24 is the youngest assistant House minority leader ever to serve in Maine’s legislature. “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.”

If Michaud officially jumps into the gubernatorial contest, a crowded primary on both sides of the aisle will likely ensue.

On the Democratic side, state Sen. Emily Cain announced last month that she is officially seeking the seat.

Michaud has won re-election in the district five times by comfortable margins. President Barack Obama carried the district last cycle with 53 percent.

An open-seat contest, however, will mean a more competitive race. The number of registered Democrats only slightly outnumbers that of registered Republicans in this district.

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