By Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The state Republican Party has re-elected Chairman Rick Bennett and Treasurer Ben Lombard.

Bennett, who’s from Oxford and was first elected in 2013, oversaw the rebuilding of the state GOP staff and operations and led the party to wins in the November elections. He was re-elected with unanimous approval from the 68 state committee members at their biennial election of officers on Saturday, the party said.

Bennett served four terms in the Senate, where he was president, and two terms in the House. He said he was “deeply humbled for the unanimous support” of the state committee members.

“My commitment to the committee, Republicans across Maine, and all Maine people, is to continue to fight on your behalf, continue to build our party, and help our Republican officeholders carry our message of reform and prosperity to all Maine people,” Bennett said in a statement released by the party.

He said the party would identify and elect candidates “who will make government more accountable, restrain the growth of spending, and reform critical programs to make sure precious dollars are spent wisely.”

Lombard, a practicing certified public accountant from Yarmouth who has served as volunteer treasurer for several nonprofit organizations, was elected to his second full two-year term as the party’s treasurer.

Bennett called him “a tremendous asset for our party.”

“I am thrilled that Ben has chosen to continue his service with our team,” Bennett said. “Ben’s knowledge and skills, including his understanding of controls and compliance, are indispensable to the Maine GOP.”

Also elected were Dr. Demi Kouzounas as the new vice-chair and Barbara Campbell Harvey as secretary.

Kouzounas, a dentist and small businesswoman from Saco, was elected after a speech focusing on growing the party and reaching out to working residents through current outreach programs and new initiatives. She helped start the Bright Smiles dental clinic for low-income children in Portland and co-founded Dentists Who Care For ME, which offers a day of free dental care annually.

She replaces outgoing Vice-Chair Susan Morissette, who didn’t seek re-election.

Harvey, of Portland, has vast experience with Republican political organizations across the state and has served in several positions with organizations including the Maine Education Loan Authority Board, which helps students and their families pay for higher education; LearningWorks, which helps at-risk youths and immigrant families; and Friends of the Blaine House, which serves the home of the state’s governors and their families.

She replaces outgoing Secretary Charles Mahaleris, who served for eight years and didn’t seek re-election.

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