Justin Alfond

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Justin Alfond
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 27th district
In office
December 2008 – December 2016
Preceded byEthan Strimling
Succeeded byBen Chipman
Personal details
Born (1975-01-08) January 8, 1975 (age 44)
Dexter, Maine, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Rachael Weinstein Alfond[1]
Children1
Alma materTulane University
WebsiteJustinAlfond.com

Justin Loring Alfond (born January 8, 1975) is an American politician and real estate developer. He served as a Democratic State Senator from the 8th District, which represents much of Portland. Alfond was first elected to the State Senate in 2008 to replace Democrat Ethan Strimling; he beat former State Senator Anne Rand and Cliff Ginn. He was re-elected in 2010 and 2012. In 2012, he faced Green Independent Party Chair Asher Platts.[2] Alfond won with 71% of the vote in a two-way race.[3]

Following his re-election to a third term in November 2012, he was chosen as President of the Maine Senate by his fellow Democrats in the Maine Senate.[4] Upon being re-elected to his fourth term, he was chosen to be the leader of the now-minority Democrats.[5]

Alfond was the second youngest Senate President since 1880, when Joseph A. Locke held the position at 36 years old.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Alfond is the son of Joan and Bill Alfond.[7] He is the grandson of businessman Harold Alfond, the founder of the Dexter Shoe Company.[7] He has two siblings, Kenden, and Reis.[7] His father worked for the family business, Dexter Shoes, as the director of the company's golf and bowling shoe division; and also served as a trustee of the Governor Dummer Academy.[7] He attended schools in Waterville and Dexter prior to attending Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts. He then attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and majored in business management. He was briefly a professional golfer.

Politics[edit]

In 2012, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections noted in a published report that Alfond, despite funding his own campaigns through public financing, raised significant money through a leader political action committee (PAC). He raised over $192,000 for the Alfond Business, Community & Democracy PAC between its creation in 2009 and 2012.[8]

On November 21, 2013, Alfond voted against allowing a bill submitted by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) which would have legalized, taxed, and regulated the use of marijuana in the state, to proceed to debate during the second session of the 126th Legislature, which typically only addresses a limited number of bills. The Maine Legislative Council, of which Alfond was a member of as Senate President, voted 5-5, meaning that no legislative action would be taken until at least 2015. Disappointment was expressed over the vote since Alfond represents Portland, a city that only weeks prior voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for adults over 21.[9][10]

On December 18, 2013, Alfond announced that he submitted emergency legislation to attempt to help resolve a lease dispute between the Portland Pirates and the Cumberland County Civic Center by allowing the team to receive a share of alcohol revenue, which was illegal under Maine law but the Pirates had originally sought.[11]

On June 30, 2014, the Talking Points Memo website claimed that some Maine adherents to the sovereign citizen movement called for Alfond and a fellow Democrat, House Speaker Mark Eves, to be tried, convicted, and executed for treason during meetings with Governor Paul LePage in 2013. LePage has denied that such discussions took place, even after learning audio recordings exist of two men claiming such a discussion took place.[12]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Rachel Weinstein.[13] In 2004, he founded the Maine Chapter of the League of Young Voters, serving for four years as its Director. He serves on the boards of many organizations, including Avesta Housing, Opportunity Maine, Maine Initiatives, Kennebec Valley Community College, the New England Board of Higher Education and the New England Secondary School Consortium.[14] He lives in Portland's West End.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Justin". Senator Justin Alfond. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  2. ^ Busby, Chris (October 25, 2012). "The Punk vs. the Prince: Justin Alfond's Green challenge". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Our Campaigns - ME State Senate 08 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  4. ^ Hall, William (November 19, 2012). "Portland's Alfond promises benevolent Maine Senate presidency". The Forecaster. Archived from the original on April 13, 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  5. ^ Cousins, Christopher (November 12, 2014). "Maine Democrats fill legislative leadership posts". The Forecaster. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  6. ^ Mistler, Steve (2012-11-13). "Defiant Democrats name new House speaker, Senate president - Central Maine". Kjonline.com. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  7. ^ a b c d Rollins College: "Harold Alfond (1914-2007) - Business Leader and Strong Supporter of the Rollins Sports Program" retrieved September 29, 2015
  8. ^ "Money in Politics Project - Report #1" (PDF). Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  9. ^ Altieri, Erik (2013-11-21). "Portland Lawmaker Deciding Vote in Defeating Maine Legalization Bill | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform". Blog.norml.org. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  10. ^ Robin Wilkey (November 21, 2013). "Maine Marijuana Legalization Fails". Huffington Post.
  11. ^ "Portland Pirates drop lawsuit against civic center". Portland Press Herald. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  12. ^ "LePage denies he discussed 'executing' Maine Democratic leaders". Bangor Daily News. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  13. ^ The Press Herald: "Society Notebook: Maine College of Art honors two behind-the-scenes leaders" BY AVERY YALE KAMILA May 13, 2012
  14. ^ Senate Biography
  15. ^ Biography Archived 2009-06-17 at the Wayback Machine Maine Senate Democrats