May 21, 2019
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With first choice blocked, LePage makes new pick to head Maine housing agency

John Clarke Russ | BDN
John Clarke Russ | BDN
File photo of a Bangor home for sale.

A longtime Maine State Housing Authority official was nominated by Gov. Paul LePage on Friday to lead the agency after Democrats last week rebuffed the Republican governor’s original pick.

LePage said in a Monday statement that he’s nominating Dan Brennan of Winslow, who has spent 25 years at the housing authority and is now its senior director of programs, as its next director. The governor said Brennan has a “strong understanding” of the agency.

Brennan’s nomination came just four days after Democrats in the Maine Senate rejected LePage’s nomination of George Gervais, the state’s economic development commissioner. He was widely backed at a public hearing earlier in March, but Democrats cited his lack of experience in housing.

LePage blasted that move as “cheap politics.” Brennan would replace John Gallagher, who was confirmed unanimously earlier this month by the Senate to join the housing authority’s board. The nomination is subject to a confirmation hearing before the Legislature’s labor committee and another vote in the Maine Senate. Brennan’s nomination is likely to go smoothly.

Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, the co-chairman of the labor committee, said he will ask about the new nominee’s stances on President Donald Trump’s housing budget proposals and a senior housing bond that LePage has stalled. But he called Brennan “extremely qualified” for the job.

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