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Maine agriculture nominee before committee

Photographer Name | AP
Photographer Name | AP
Walter Whitcomb responds to questions after being nominated commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture by Maine Gov. Paul LePage at the State House in Augusta, Maine, on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011.
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative committee has endorsed Waldoboro dairyman Walter Whitcomb to become the commissioner of Maine’s Agriculture Department.

Whitcomb’s nomination raised no red flags during a confirmation review by the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on Thursday. The former Republican floor leader in the Maine House is expected to win Senate confirmation.

Meanwhile, another of Gov. Paul LePage’s Cabinet nominees, David Bernhardt, has been sworn in as acting commissioner of the Department of Transportation. Last week, LePage nominated Bernhardt to the commissioner’s post full-time. The appointment of the career DOT official has also drawn no vocal opposition.

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