AUGUSTA, Maine — Gearing up for the last half of his last term, Maine Gov. John Baldacci is shuffling some top staff assignments.
The changes announced Wednesday involve one new recruit: Deborah Friedman, who has worked as policy director for Senate President Beth Edmonds, will join Baldacci’s staff as a senior policy adviser for education, labor and the state cultural agencies among other duties.
Meanwhile, communications director David Farmer becomes deputy chief of staff, replacing Ryan Low, who has taken over as commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, and senior policy adviser Patrick Ende moves to the post of chief counsel, succeeding Mike Mahoney, who has returned to private practice.
Additionally, Lance Boucher is being promoted to senior policy adviser with a focus on economic development. That area was previously a specialty of Jack Cashman, who was appointed by Baldacci to the Public Utilities Commission.
With Farmer assuming a new job that is to include working with the Legislature, the governor’s office said a search was under way for a new director of communications.
“David has a broad understanding of the issues facing Maine, and is a trusted adviser,” Baldacci said in a statement. “He will work hand-in-hand with Chief of Staff Jane Lincoln as we develop our next two-year budget, reform government at all levels and work for tax relief and economic development.”
The governor’s office said Ende, in taking over as chief counsel, would continue to work on health and human services issues.
“Pat is a brilliant lawyer and a dedicated public servant,” Baldacci said. “He provides strong moral leadership within our office. I know that he will excel in his new position as we continue to try to balance the demands of providing important government services with the need for fiscal discipline.”
Baldacci was first elected governor in 2002 and won a second four-year term in 2006.