- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage has announced a new acting health commissioner to steer the department as its leader steps down for unknown reasons.

LePage said Friday he’s picked Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Commissioner of Programs Ricker Hamilton to serve as the department’s acting commissioner.

The governor says Hamilton has a wealth of experience in efforts to reform welfare as well programs offering substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence services.

Hamilton has also managed and directed the state’s aging and disability office and state psychiatric centers.

LePage announced Wednesday that Commissioner Mary Mayhew will be leaving his administration Friday.

Mayhew’s next steps are unclear, though she has been mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2018.

Mayhew declined to answer questions at a Wednesday news conference.

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