LePage hires new communications director

Posted July 14, 2011, at 12:02 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday filled the vacant post of director of communications by hiring former longtime Maine National Guard spokesman Peter Rogers to help craft and articulate the governor’s message.

Rogers, currently deputy commissioner for the state Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, replaces Dan Demeritt, who stepped down earlier this year.

“Peter brings a wealth of knowledge with him,” LePage said in a statement. “He is committed to effectively and proactively communicating our focused messages on job creation, welfare, energy and education reforms to the people of Maine, and I look forward to working with him.”

Rogers, 47, who lives in Yarmouth with his wife and five daughters, served as the primary spokesman for the Maine National Guard during the Gulf War and the first several years of the Global War on Terror. He also has been a staff member for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Rogers begins his new job on July 25.

“I am pleased and honored to be selected by Governor LePage to be his communications director and look forward to serving in his administration,” he said. “I am also very excited to be working with my friends in the Maine media again.”

LePage has been without a communications director since mid-April, when Demeritt stepped down to handle personal business matters. Demeritt had been with the governor during his successful campaign last fall and many experts credit the former communications director for helping get LePage elected.

Demeritt has since moved on to start his own political consulting firm.

Rogers, who said he has a passion for security management and international affairs, will take on the sometimes difficult task of shaping and communicating LePage’s agenda. In his first year in office, the Republican governor already has earned a reputation for his candid, sometimes controversial remarks.

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