AUGUSTA — Monica Castellanos, partner in a consulting and communications firm and a former member of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s staff, recently filed to run as a Democrat for state House District 86, which covers part of Augusta.

She will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Matthew Pouliot to represent the district, which includes most of Augusta west of the Kennebec River.

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Castellanos is self-employed as a partner at Elevate Consulting & Communications. The firm has previously done work for MaineToday Media, parent company of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

A Maine native, Castellanos has spent the past 20 years working on state and federal issues, advocacy and economic development, according to a news release.

She said her career and bid for the House seat were inspired by her experiences growing up in Gardiner, where she was raised by a young single mother who often struggled to make ends meet.

She previously served more than seven years as a senior staff member for Michaud, a current gubernatorial candidate.

Castellanos attended the University of Maine at Farmington, and serves as vice-president of the Westside Neighbors and on the Kennebec Valley Humane Society Board of Directors in Augusta.