Eleven weeks ago, Somerset and Kennebec County Democrats officially nominated state Rep. Maeghan Maloney, D-Augusta, as interim district attorney and conveyed that choice to Gov. Paul LePage.

The post, however, remains vacant, with neither the Democrats nor the governor finding common ground.

The governor says he specifically requested a list of names, not just one, and earlier said he was disappointed the list failed to include Alan Kelley, who has spent 35 years in the prosecutor’s office, the last 17 years as deputy district attorney — the No. 2 post — and is currently acting district attorney.

The Democrats say the governor should respond to them officially in writing about the nomination.

Democrats met Thursday and continue to wait for that response, said Sarah Fuller, of Winthrop, who has been spokeswoman for both the Kennebec and Somerset Democratic committees.

She said the only discussion about the district attorney’s post at the recent meeting revolved around the lack of official response from the governor’s office.

“He needs to send word back through the party,” Fuller said. “It’s not hard to find us. He should send us a written response laying out his position.”

She said Maloney told her fellow Democrats at the meeting that she had met with the governor concerning her candidacy.

Under Maine law, the nominee must be the same political party as the district attorney who had been serving in the office.

The governor issued an official statement about the district attorney vacancy in District IV, which covers both Kennebec and Somerset counties, and referred to his April 4 meeting with Maloney.

“I explained to her that I would not fill the vacancy until the Democratic Party complied with the law and provided me a choice of candidates to the fill vacancy,” LePage said in a statement issued through press secretary Adrienne Bennett.

“I told Rep. Maloney that my selections for such positions were not based on politics and that it was unfortunate that her party had chosen to insert partisan politics into the process. I assured her that my decision was not about her, or the questions that have been raised about her qualifications for the position, and that I would be glad to consider her candidacy if her party complied with the law. Rep. Maloney told me she would share my view with party officials and see if they choose to provide me with more than one candidate for the office as is required by law.”

LePage said he would then refer the list of nominees to the Judicial Selection Committee, which would review the qualifications and advise LePage.

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office is expected to declare the district attorney’s post vacant after the June primary, according to spokeswoman Megan Sanborn. She said that will allow the parties to caucus to nominate a replacement, as well as make non-party petitions available for circulation.

Both Maloney and Kelley, of West Gardiner, are seeking the Democratic nomination.

They and Republican Darrick Banda of Manchester have filed with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics & Elections Practices, which tracks campaign finances.

The winner in the November election would be sworn in in January to fill the remaining two years of the term.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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