Alex Cornell du Houx ’06, Brunswick’s representative in the state legislature, announced that he would not seek re-election on June 29. Cornell du Houx’s re-election bid had been mired by allegations from his former fiancé, Representative Erin Herbig of Belfast, who claimed that he had stalked and threatened her in a temporary protection from abuse order.
According to the Portland Press Herald, police stopped their investigation, and Cornell du Houx was never indicted for any crimes. The Bangor Daily News reported that the pair reached an agreement out of court.
The stipulations of the agreement bar Cornell du Houx from the city of Belfast for the next decade, and require him to give Augusta’s police force 48 hours notice before he enters the state capitol. The agreement also required Cornell du Houx to drop out of the reelection race.
Cornell du Houx says he decided not to run for re-election because he became executive director of a nonpartisan national nonprofit that trains veterans to run for office, and because his active duty training coincides with the next legislative session.
He also claims that this new job prompted him to sign the agreement with Herbig, even though he was innocent.
“Because I was undergoing security clearance protocols for the Navy during this time, for my new job, I couldn’t risk appearing in court. Just doing that could have damaged my promotion. So, I signed an outrageous agreement with Erin,” Cornell du Houx wrote in an email to the Orient.
Although Cornell du Houx reached an agreement outside of court, he maintains that he could refute the claims if it had proved necessary.
“If we had gone to a hearing I would have countered all her allegations in the temporary order,” Cornell du Houx wrote in a written statement. “I broke off the engagement on March 26, 2012 because she seriously breached my trust. So, I asked for my ring back, and she turned on me with the temporary order.”
In a text message exchange sent to the Orient by Cornell du Houx, Herbig writes, “Call me when you get off the call. I miss your voice xo.”
The text message is dated from the period when Herbig claimed to feel endangered by her former fiancé.
Fred Horch, husband of Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Hadley Horch, is running for Cornell du Houx’s seat in the state legislature. Now that Cornell du Houx is a non-factor, Horch says the race is wide open.
“No one’s asking whose seat it is anymore. He was forced out in such a public way,” Horch said.
Horch, however, would not say he was happy about the situation.
“I never like to see a scandal like that,” he said.
Horch feels he was the better candidate, even before the allegations against Cornell du Houx surfaced.
“I have a lot of practical experience. Alex had no understanding of the energy market, of the physics,” Horch said. “He is not the right person to be leading our energy policy.”
Horch, the Green Party candidate, will run against Democrat Matthea Daughtry and Republican Grant Connors in the November 6 general election.
—Toph Tucker contributed to this report.