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York County GOP Chair Under Fire After Sending Email Critical of Gay Lawmaker

PORTLAND, Maine — The chairman of the York County Republican Committee is under fire for referring to Rep. Justin Chenette as "Little Justine" in an email to fellow Republicans. Jim Booth also says there's "a lot of hate" for Chenette.

Chenette, a Democrat from Saco, became the nation's youngest openly gay legislator when was first elected to the Maine House in 2012. He is now running for the state Senate after defeating longtime legislator Barry Hobbins.

Booth's letter was an appeal to local Republicans to step in to challenge Chenette this fall. But his rhetoric was denounced by Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett.

In a statement, Bennett said, "We find that type of language completely inappropriate and unfortunate."

Republicans have yet to field an opponent to face Chenette.