LePage says he will take Maine ‘out of the cellar’

Maine Gov. elect Paul LePage addresses the Portland Region Chamber of Commerce Friday morning.
Matt Wickenheiser
Maine Gov. elect Paul LePage addresses the Portland Region Chamber of Commerce Friday morning.
Posted Nov. 05, 2010, at 10:57 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 05, 2010, at 12:20 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Governor-Elect Paul LePage made his first non-campaign-related appearance this morning, speaking briefly to hundreds of businesspeople gathered for a Portland Regional Chamber breakfast.

LePage, the Republican candidate who was elected governor Tuesday, reiterated many of his campaign issues this morning, saying his administration would “bring Maine out of the cellar.”

Later in Augusta, LePage also unveiled his transition team , naming three co-chairs and vowing to make its work the most transparent the state’s ever seen.

The Republican governor-elect announced in the State House on Friday that the three include Tarren Bragdon, chief operating officer of the conservative think tank Maine Heritage Policy Center; Ann Robinson, an Augusta attorney and counsel for the Maine Republican Party, and John Butera, executive director of the Central Maine Growth Council.

LePage said the transition team will look for “the best and the brightest” as it seeks people to make up the new administration. He hopes to name most of his Cabinet appointments by Christmas.

While the transition team begins its work, LePage in Portland made a pitch this morning for who he would like to see as state treasurer: Bruce Poliquin of Georgetown.

Poliquin, a real estate developer with a background in investment, ran in the Republican primary, finishing sixth out of a field of seven. Since the primary, he’s been a supporter of LePage, contributing financially to his campaign, helping to raise funds and stumping for support.

“First time in recent history, we may have a state treasurer who actually has credentials to run the monies for the state of Maine,” LePage said this morning. “It’s high time we get the right people.”

The treasurer is a constitutional office, elected by the Legislature – which is now controlled by the GOP. Other such offices include secretary of state, auditor and attorney general.

Meanwhile, the new Republican majority on Friday unanimously elected Kevin Raye of Perry as Senate president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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