FAIRFIELD — Even though his wife has accepted a job in California, Town Councilor Aaron Rowden, who is also the Democratic nominee for the soon-to-be-open House District 108 seat, will not be leaving the state.

Rowden grew up in Fairfield and attended Lawrence High School. He went on to study at Holy Cross College before getting a law degree at Georgetown University. First elected in 2013, Rowden has run for the Legislature once before.

Rowden, the secretary on the council, is the Democratic nominee for District 108 in the Maine House of Representatives. He was not challenged in the primary but will take on Shelley Rudnicki, the chairwoman of the School Administrative District 49 school board in the general election. Rowden was the Democratic nominee in 2016, then lost to then-Rep. John Picchiotti, who is also on the Fairfield Town Council.

District 108 includes Fairfield, Mercer and Smithfield.

Rowden did not return a phone call or email for comment. His term on the council is scheduled to expire in 2019.

Rowden’s wife, Heather, who has been the finance director in Waterville since 2017, announced her resignation from the city to fill a similar position in Albany, California, where she will earn more than her Waterville salary of $73,191. Her last day with Waterville will be Aug. 3.

Aaron Rowden, an attorney at Schneider & Brewer in Waterville, said on his Facebook page for the House 108 run that he does not plan to relocate to California.

“Heather and I have discussed this in great detail and in her love and wisdom, she knows that my place is here, continuing to serve my community and fighting for the people of Maine to have the same opportunities we have been lucky enough to have,” Rowden wrote. “Although we do not look forward to the time we will spend apart, it is a price we are both willing to pay in order for me to continue working for the people of this district.”

Picchiotti chose not to seek re-election to his seat in District 108 after serving three terms in the Legislature. Rudnicki, who owns Shelley’s Used Cars in Fairfield, defeated Fairfield Town Councilor Beverly Busque to win the Republican party nomination.

According to Chris Glynn, spokesperson for the Maine Democratic party, candidates sometimes drop out of the race this far into the summer.

“If they drop out of their race before 5:00 p.m. on July 9, it’s up to the local party committees to choose a replacement candidate, and they have until 5:00 p.m. on July 23 to do so,” Glynn said via email.

Rowden also was known in the area for directing a number of Shakespearean performances. When he studied law at Georgetown Law School, he performed with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society there. He also has performed with the Theater at Monmouth.

According to Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling, Rowden told the town he had “every intention” of staying to fulfill his duties on the council and run for House District 108 in the event his wife was hired in California. She said she was made aware of the possibility of Heather Rowden leaving before it was announced publicly. However, if a councilor were to leave their seat before the term expired, Flewelling said, the remaining councilors would appoint someone else as a replacement. This happened in the winter of 2016, when then Council Chairman Robert Sezak resigned his seat to take a seat on the Somerset County Board of Commissioners.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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