- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he will renominate William Beardsley to serve as education commissioner in the next legislative session.

In February, LePage rescinded his nomination for Beardsley, citing Democratic resistance. Instead, he tapped him to lead the department as acting commissioner under a six-month term that did not require legislative confirmation.

This week, Beardsley’s position as top decision-maker was retained when LePage appointed former Republican Sen. Debra Plowman to a six-month term as “temporary deputy education commissioner.” She, in turn, empowered Beardsley to continue to act on the department’s behalf.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett in an email called it a “legal formality” allowing Beardsley to “continue to lead the department.” She said LePage has intended all along to renominate Beardsley as commissioner in the next legislative session.

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