District 62 representative decides not to seek re-election

Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 12:28 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 29, 2012, at 3:45 p.m.

BATH, Maine — First-term state Rep. Michael Clarke, a Democrat from District 62, representing part of Bath, confirmed Monday that he will not seek re-election.

Republican Kyle Rogers, a Bath city councilor, and two Democrats, Jennifer DeChant and Paul Johnson, have indicated interest in running for the seat.

Clarke said Monday that he plans to retire as a Bath firefighter within about 20 months, and wants to spend more time preparing for a second career, either in industry, manufacturing or perhaps in occupational health and safety.

“It’s been a great career, but I’m looking forward to moving on to a second career,” he told The Times Record.

Clarke serves on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. He has represented District 62 since 2010, when he defeated Republican Robert Winglass to succeed Democrat Thom Watson, who served the maximum four consecutive terms allowed by state law.

Should both DeChant and Johnson qualify for spots on the ballot, they would compete in a primary on June 12. Clarke said he would not endorse a candidate in the primary.

DeChant, of Middle Street, manages public relations at Portland-based Sea Bags manufacturing company. She is a former member of the Bath Planning Board and former chairwoman of the Sagadahoc County Democratic Committee.

Johnson, of Washington Street, is a retired teacher and school administrator who currently teaches at Midcoast Senior College. He served on the Bath School Board and the task force committee that formed Regional School Unit 1.

Rogers, of Court Street, is a retired Navy career counselor who now works as a Realtor. He has served on the Bath City Council since 2006 and is currently chairman of the Sagadahoc County Republican Committee.

No other candidates have emerged as potential challengers to Rogers for the Republican nomination.

The deadline for legislative candidates in the Democratic, Republican and Green Independent parties to file nomination materials is March 15. The general election will be held Nov. 6.

To see more from The Times Record, visit timesrecord.com.

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