WILTON, Maine — Conservative columnist and financial adviser Lawrence E. Dwight Jr., known as “J” Dwight, 54, was found dead in his home on Orchard Drive on Monday.
According to a Wilton Police Department press release, his body was found by his wife, Adrienne Neary, shortly before 1 p.m.
He appears to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and police are investigating the death as an apparent suicide.
According to police, his body has been transported to the state medical examiner’s office for examination.
Two detectives from the Major Crimes division of the Maine State Police assisted Wilton Police at the Dwight residence, known as Ridgewood Farm.
A former columnist for the Sun Journal and current columnist for The Maine Wire, Dwight wrote about wind power, global warming, energy independence, state government and finance, among other things.
A SEC registered investment adviser, Dwight was founder and president of Dwight Investment Counsel and served on the board of advisers of the Maine Heritage Policy Center.
He was a staunch opponent of industrial wind power in Maine’s mountains, and served on Wilton’s Finance Committee.
He and his wife own Ridgewood Farm, a 30-acre horse farm that is currently listed for sale at $619,900. Described as a premier equestrian facility, the farm features a large family home and separate equestrian facility and 18-stall barn.
A self-described bird enthusiast who led birding trips since the age of 14, according to his business website, he was a former president of the Rachel Carson Natural Wildlife Preserve, former board member of Maine Audubon Society and former president of Kennebunk Land Trust.
Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, said Tuesday that “J was my very dear friend.”
“We often sat around and debated politics, we debated life and sometimes just drank coffee. He was an asset to the community and he brought conservative values to the community, which needed to be heard.”
“This is terrible,” Saviello said. “He’s going to be missed. I miss him already.”
Saviello said he, personally, was going through conflict, J stood by him.
“He loved bird watching,” Saviello said. “He was passionate about it and extremely talented at it.”
In 2003, Dwight was part of the nonprofit grass-roots Rural Broadband Initiative that was awarded a $7,500 grant from the Maine Community Foundation to conduct a survey of Franklin County businesses and residents to quantify the market for what RBI members believed was much-needed broadband service.
A former member of the legislative Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission, Dwight was arrested in July 2011 on a charge of domestic assault. Dwight resigned his position on the commission after his arrest, and the charges were dismissed a month later.
The governor’s office declined comment on Dwight’s death.
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