The Governor of Maine is the chief executive of the State of Maine. Before Maine was admitted to the Union in 1820, Maine was part of Massachusetts and the Governor of Massachusetts was chief executive.
The governor of Maine receives a salary of $70,000, which as of 2016 is the lowest by $20,000 of the 50 state governors.
|Governor of Maine|
Seal of the Governor
since January 5, 2011
|Residence||The Blaine House|
|Term length||4 years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||William King|
|Formation||March 15, 1820|
Under Article V, Section 4, a person must as of the commencement of the term in office, be 30 years old, for 15 years a citizen of the United States, and for five years a resident of Maine. A governor must retain residency in Maine throughout his or her term. Section 5 provides that a person shall not assume the office of Governor while holding any other office under the United States, Maine, or "any other power".
Governors are elected directly for four-years terms, with a limit of two consecutive elected terms. Thus, a governor can serve an unlimited number of terms, as long as they serve no more than two in a row (Article V, Section 2). Elections are by popular vote, but if two people tie for first place, the Legislature meets in joint session to choose between them (Article V, Section 3).
The governor is commander-in-chief of "the army and navy of the State, and of the militia" (the Maine National Guard), except when under federal control (Article V, Section 7). The governor generally has the power to appoint civil, military, and judicial officers (aside from probate judges and justices of the peace), subject to confirmation by the Legislature, unless the Maine Constitution or a statute has provided another means of appointment (Article V, Section 8). He or she also has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, and commutations, except in cases of impeachment. This clemency power also includes juvenile offenses (Article V, Section 11).
The Governor oversees the executive branch, which includes Maine's state agencies. His cabinet is often considered to be the state's commissioners, which are generally nominated by the governor but legally chosen by the Maine Legislature.
As of April 2014, the current cabinet is as follows:
|The LePage Cabinet|
|Commissioner of the Department of Administrative & Financial Services||David Lavway (acting) ||2017|
|Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry||Walter E. Whitcomb||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Corrections||Joseph Fitzpatrick ||2014|
|Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management||Douglas Farnham||2016|
|Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development||George Gervais||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Education||Robert Hasson (see below*)||2017|
|Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection||Paul Mercer||2016|
|Commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services||Ricker Hamilton (acting)||2017|
|Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife||Chandler Woodcock||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources||Patrick C. Keliher||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety||John Morris||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Transportation||David Bernhardt||2011|
|Commissioner of the Department of Labor||John Butera||2017|
|Commissioner of the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation||Anne Head||2011|
|Director of Office of Policy and Management||Jonathan LaBonte||2014|
|Executive Director of Workers' Compensation Board||Paul H. Sighinolfi||2011|
* The original Education Commissioner, Jim Rier, went on medical leave. The Governor's office initially said he might return in 2015, but later said that Rier officially retired on April 17, 2015. LePage nominated Acting Commissioner William Beardsley as permanent commissioner, but pulled the nomination in the face of Democratic opposition. He announced on February 11, 2016, that he would leave Beardsley in place as Deputy Commissioner once his Acting role (which does not require confirmation) expired, and be the Commissioner himself. LePage said he did so out of a desire to not put Beardsley through being rejected by the Legislature and to keep him running the Department of Education. On May 26, 2016, LePage appointed Debra Plowman, a former State Senator, as "temporary deputy education commissioner" and LePage empowered her to perform the function of a commissioner for the six months allowed by law for temporary appointments. Her first official act was to reappoint Beardsley as Deputy Commissioner, and he remained the cabinet member for the department on the Cabinet website. In November 2016, LePage appointed Robert Hasson, a longtime educator, as a new temporary deputy education commissioner, replacing Plowman. Beardsley resigned, citing personal reasons, on December 14, 2016. Hasson was named Acting Commissioner of the department by Gov. LePage. Hasson was later nominated as permanent commissioner and confirmed by the Legislature on March 29, 2017.
Maine is one of six states that does not have an office of lieutenant governor. Under current law, if there is a vacancy in the office of governor, the president of the Maine Senate becomes governor. The current Senate president is Republican Michael Thibodeau as of December 3, 2014.
The Blaine House in Augusta is the official governor’s mansion, and is located across the street from the Maine State House. It became the official residence in 1919, and is named for James G. Blaine, who once owned the mansion. The house was built by Captain James Hall in 1833 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.