BRUNSWICK, Maine — A photographer and consulting firm principal stepped forward and was unanimously approved to replace the embattled Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx at Saturday’s Brunswick Democratic Town Committee caucus.
Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, 25, will replace Cornell du Houx on the ballot for House District 66 in Brunswick.
Cornell du Houx, who bowed out of the race as part of a private agreement with fellow legislator Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, to drop a temporary protection order she filed against him, submitted his withdrawal notice on July 2. The agreement with Herbig, which Cornell du Houx said Sunday was no longer in effect, also bars him from entering the city of Belfast for the next decade or visiting the state Capitol in Augusta unless he alerts Capitol Police 48 hours before his arrival.
“That is what I agreed to but in the future I have no restraint because she breached it,” he said, saying Herbig broke the contract when her lawyer released details about the secret agreement to the media. “If I want to go to the State House anytime in the next decade or go to Belfast, I‘m not barred from doing that.”
Cornell du Houx’s withdrawal notice cited an active duty assignment with the U.S. Navy that begins in January 2013, around the time a new Legislature will start work in Augusta, as the official reason for dropping out of the race.
“It was breached after I made the decision not to run,” Cornell du Houx said.
Daughtry is a photographer and principal at the consulting firm Maquoit Bay, and also writes a food blog called GrowingupJulia.com.
“One of the things that pushed me to run was protecting our small businesses, the environment and our public education system,” the new candidate said Sunday. “I love Brunswick. This is where I have grown up and I want to live here, and I want to raise my children here.”
Not just the Democratic candidate for District 66 dropped out of the race — candidates for the Green-Independent and Republican parties also withdrew after the June primary.
Green-Independents in the area replaced David Frans with Frederick Horch, and local Republicans meet on Thursday to replace John Bouchard. Several messages left for the results of the caucus were not returned as of noontime Sunday.
The Brunswick Maine Republican Town Committee’s Facebook page states the caucus would also select a replacement for the District 63 seat, but did not list the results of Thursday’s gathering.
Daughtry graduated from Brunswick High School and went to school at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., where she majored in studio art and minored in history and landscape architecture. Over the years, she has worked as a reporter, photographer, waitress and farmhand.
The community has “a wealth of small businesses and a really vibrant downtown and I want to see it continue to grow,” she said, especially since she sees people leaving the area.
“A lot want to stay here but are having a hard time finding affordable housing and jobs,” Doughty said. “We all want to stay.”
BDN reporters Matthew Stone and Christopher Cousins contributed to this story.