AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett was unanimously elected to another term Saturday during an annual meeting of GOP officers in Augusta.
Bennett’s daughter, Abigail Bennett, who announced recently that she was seeking the second-in-command position, lost in a three-way race for vice chairman, which was won by Demi Kouzounas, a dentist from Saco. The third candidate was Matt Boucher of Hancock County.
Ben Lombard of Yarmouth was re-elected treasurer in an uncontested race and Barbara Campbell Harvey of Portland fended off a challenge from Matthew Roy of Androscoggin County to be elected secretary.
Bennett, a former state Senate president and chairman of GMI Ratings, a corporate governance research firm, said he was pleased to be so easily re-elected.
“I’m honored and humbled to be re-elected unanimously, given where our party has been in recent years,” said Bennett on Monday. “We obviously had a very successful election year. … I think the Republican Party is feeling pretty good about itself. We’ve got a great team in place.”
Kouzounas has been a visible presence among southern Maine Republicans and her work as a dentist has had a statewide impact. She helped start Bright Smiles, a dental clinic for low-income children in Portland, and is co-founder of Dentists Who Care for ME, which provides a free day of dental care each year. Kouzounas, the immediate past president of the Maine Dental Association, has also practiced in Scarborough and Skowhegan during her 30-year career. She was born in Sanford and received her doctorate in dentistry at Tufts University before serving in the U.S. Army.
Kouzounas, who lost to long-time Democratic lawmaker Rep. Barry Hobbins in a 2012 Maine House of Representatives contest, replaces outgoing Vice Chairwoman Susan Morissette, who did not seek re-election.
Lombard, an accountant from Yarmouth, was unanimously elected to his second two-year term. He holds a master of science degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts.
“I am thrilled that Ben has chosen to continue his service with our team,” said Bennett. “Ben’s knowledge and skills, including his understanding of controls and compliance, are indispensable to the Maine GOP.”
Campbell Harvey was elected the party’s secretary over one challenger. In addition to years of volunteering for the GOP in Maine, Campbell Harvey has also been involved with the Maine Education Loan Authority Board, LearningWorks, First Radio Parish Church of America and Friends of the Blaine House. She holds a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern University.
“It bodes well for our party that we have people of Barbara’s talent willing to step up and keep our team moving in the right direction,” said Bennett.
Harvey replaces outgoing Secretary Charles Mahaleris, who chose not to seek re-election after eight years in the position.