September 22, 2017
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LePage nominates trio to fill Cabinet-level posts

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Updated:
Terry Farren | BDN | BDN
Terry Farren | BDN | BDN
Brig. Gen. Gerard Bolduc is greeted by legion members at the American Legion Conference.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday nominated three people to Cabinet-level posts within his administration.

LePage nominated Brig. Gen. Gerard F. Bolduc to be the Maine National Guard’s adjutant general; William Beardsley to be the Maine commissioner of education; and Paul Mercer to be the state’s commissioner of environmental protection.

Bolduc, who serves as the current acting adjutant general, has been in his post since March, when LePage fired Brig. Gen. James Campbell as adjutant general of the Maine National Guard. Prior to his current position, Bolduc was commander of the Maine Air National Guard and assistant adjutant general.

Bolduc joined the Air Force in 1982 and was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science in Tennessee. He was assigned to the Bangor Air National Guard Base after he completed aviator training.

Education commissioner

Beardsley, the former president and CEO of Husson University in Bangor and former Maine commissioner of conservation, has been acting education commissioner since October of this year, when LePage chose him to be acting commissioner.

Beardsley, who ran unsuccessfully against LePage in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, has served on numerous boards, including the Maine Development Foundation, Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Higher Education Council, the Maine Independent College Association, the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine STEM Council.

Beardsley holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Earlham College in Indiana and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He took the helm of the Department of Education in October, replacing interim Commissioner Tom Desjardin. Beardsley’s nomination is subject to vetting by the Maine Board of Education and the Legislature’s Education Committee, followed by confirmation by the Maine Senate.

Environmental protection commissioner

To lead the Department of Environmental Protection, LePage has nominated Paul Mercer, who has been an associate professor, among other posts, at Maine Maritime Academy since 2006. Those posts have included engineering department chairman, member of the senior leadership team and assistant to the president for sustainability. He also has extensive background in environmental issues including renewable energy development, solid fuels, biomass energy systems and emissions reductions, according to a press release.

Mercer, who holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from Maine Maritime Academy, was president of Northeast Engineering in Bucksport from 1983 until 2008 and was president of Bay Engineering from 1978 until 1982.

Mercer’s nomination requires vetting by the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee and confirmation by the Senate. If successful, Mercer would take over for Acting Commissioner Avery Day, who has been in that role since August of this year.

 


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