By: Jordan Castaldo, Staff Writer
State officials as of Oct. 8 include: Governor Paul R. LePage, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, Attorney General Janet T. Mills, State Treasurer Terry Hayes, and State Auditor Pola Buckley. The mayor of Portland is Ethan K. Strimling since 2015. Senators of the state of Maine are Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins. The representatives within the House are Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin.
On Tuesday, Governor Paul LePage nominated Ricker Hamilton for health and human services commissioner after Mary Mayhew resigned this past June. Hamilton has been deputy commissioner of programs at the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) since 2013 and he has been named acting commissioner since Mayhew’s resignation. Whoever wins the Nov. 2018 election for governor will get to decide whether or not Hamilton gets to keep his position as DHHS commissioner.
Governor LePage also directed for all flags to be placed at half-staff Sunday Oct. 8th from sunrise to sunset, in honor of all of the fallen firefighters and to bring attention to Fire Prevention week. This was specifically to commemorate the 36th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend and Fire Prevention Week, as well as appreciate those who are still serving.
Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former Chief Strategist, wants Ann LePage, the first lady of Maine, to run against Republican Senator Angus King in next year’s election. King is up for reelection in next year’s race. Ann LePage has been assisting Maine’s military families, actively putting the “first lady” label to good use. LePage has not officially said to be running against King yet, but more to come shortly.
Senator Susan Collins has recently announced that she will not be running for Governor of Maine.
“I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that strengthen our economy, help our hard-working families, improve our health care system, and bring peace and stability to a violent and troubled world and I have concluded that the best way that I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the United States Senate.” Collins informed a breakfast meeting in Rockport, Maine this past Friday.
Her decision not to run leaves an empty space for a Republican candidate to run for Governor for the 2018 election here in Maine. This also brings a great sense of relief to Democrats,, who worried that Collins would not only win the votes of the Republicans, but also of the Independent voters as well, and would make it hard for them to elect a Democratic Governor into office. The Republicans have had the Governor seat since Governor Paul LePage won the election back in 2011. Collins will instead, achieve her fifth term as Senator of Maine, if she chooses to reelect in 2020.