- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s attorney general, secretary of state and new state treasurer were sworn into office Thursday by Republican Gov. Paul LePage as lawmakers geared up to begin their real work for the session.

Terry Hayes, who defeated Democrat Neria Douglass to become treasurer, is the first independent to serve in the office.

Hayes served eight years in the House as a Democrat, but she unenrolled from her party and worked for independent Eliot Cutler’s gubernatorial campaign last year. She was nominated by Republican lawmakers to become treasurer.

She said Thursday that she wanted to serve as an independent “because that way you do the work on behalf of everyone, without that party affiliation.”

Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat who’s often at loggerheads with LePage, was also sworn in for a third nonconsecutive term. She became the first female attorney general in Maine in 2009.

Mills said that while you probably won’t catch her and the governor “sitting down sharing a glass of Chardonnay, eating Brie and watching ‘Downton Abbey’ together,” she respects the governor and said they do have much in common.

“For the most part, the interests of my office, the interests of the Maine Legislature and the interests of the administration are aligned,” she said.

Democrat Matthew Dunlap will also serve another term as Maine’s secretary of state after being sworn in Thursday. He worked as secretary for six years before being ousted by Republicans in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012.

Hayes’ swearing-in ceremony took place in the Hall of Flags, but Mills and Dunlap took the oath of office in private ceremonies in the governor’s cabinet room. A governor’s spokeswoman there wasn’t enough room in LePage’s office to fit those who wanted to attend Hayes’ ceremony.

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