AUGUSTA — An Augusta city councilor and a retiree who volunteers at a veterans organization have won their parties’ nominations to vie for a vacant state House of Representatives District 86 seat.

Democrat Raegan LaRochelle, a current at-large city councilor in Augusta, will run for the seat, vacated when former Rep. Justin Fecteau, R-Augusta, resigned July 4, against Republican James Orr, a retired real estate agent who volunteers as president of Veteran Mentors of Maine.

Gov. Janet Mills issued a proclamation declaring the vacancy and setting the special election for Nov. 2.

James Orr  

The deadline to file to be on the ballot was Wednesday, and Republicans and Democrats both caucused in Augusta on Monday to choose their candidates.

LaRochelle was unopposed for the Democrats, while Orr defeated Mike Michaud, who like LaRochelle is a current city councilor in Augusta, to get the Republican nod.

Orr, 51, has two school-aged children who are being home-schooled and two adult children and is married. He said he was preparing to run for the Augusta Board of Education and while he was out asking residents to sign his nomination papers he decided to run for the Maine State House instead.

“As I was out getting signatures and talking to people, and hearing the issues they were bringing up, I decided, as a retired military man, with 24 years of service to the country, that I took an oath to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic,” Orr said of why he chose to run for the seat. “When I retired my oath did not expire. Ultimately I love my country, I love what this country stands for. A county of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Raegan LaRochelle

LaRochelle, 43, a first-term city councilor, is self-employed as an economic development consultant and owner of a property maintenance business. She has a longtime partner and two 13-year-old boys. She is on the Kennebec Valley YMCA board of directors and previously served as a commissioner and chairperson of the Augusta Housing Authority. She said she decided to run for the Maine State House because many of the issues she’s focused on in Augusta are issues statewide.

“I’ve been very focused on Augusta, and as I talked to other people, I just kind of saw these issues I’m dealing with in Augusta are ones the whole state deals with a lot,” LaRochelle said. “I’m very pleased to be chosen by the Augusta Democratic Committee to run for this position, and I’m looking forward to serving Augusta, like I have on the council, with my whole heart in it. The people of this town are my priority.”

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