LePage to Announce Agencies Transition Team
I have just learned that Governor-elect Paul LePage will present the team of people who will interview candidates for administration positions in state agencies at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, at the State Capitol.
As many as four dozen people may be involved in this process, with small groups assigned to specific agencies. They are expected to interview all candidates for commissioner positions and submit recommendations to LePage.
Representing the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine on the transition team will be former State Senator Leo Kieffer of Caribou. Kieffer has served on SAM’s Board of Directors and the Advisory Council of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He will serve on the team that interviews candidates for positions in the natural resource agencies.
After Tuesday’s press conference, the LePage team will move to the Blaine House to get their marching orders and learn more about the process and what is expected of them.
From several sources I’ve learned that lists of candidates are still being compiled, as LePage’s staff struggles to keep up with a high volume of mail and applications.
Among the candidates for IF&W commissioner are:
Craig McLaughlin, IF&W’s former bear biologist who moved to Utah to take a top-level post in that state’s fish and wildlife agency. Craig retired and moved back in Maine, where he now teaches at Unity College.
Chandler Woodcock, former state Senator and the Republican nominee for Governor in 2006. Woodcock was a leader on sportsmen’s issues during his tenure in the Senate, and sponsored SAM’s most important fisheries legislation that named our native brook trout as a State Heritage Fish and established protections for those fish. He is an avid hunter and angler, who I have had the pleasure of fishing with a couple of times. I submitted a letter of recommendation for Woodcock as part of his application to LePage.
Rich Hoppe, IF&W’s northern Maine Regional Wildlife Biologist.
Art Wheaton, retired vice president of Remington who now lives in Forest City where two of his brothers operate lodges and guide hunters and anglers.
These are only a few of the many applicants who would like to head this important state agency. The applicants include at least one retired game warden and many active sportsmen.
I will attend Tuesday’s press conference and post more news immediately following that event and continue to keep you informed as more applicants become known and the process moves forward.