AUGUSTA — Kennebec County Democrats picked a former legislator and state official to likely be the next county treasurer in a vote Thursday.

The committee’s nomination of Richard Davies, 66, of Hallowell, is subject to Gov. Paul LePage’s approval. He would replace Robert Crockett, a Democrat whose October resignation is effective Jan. 1, the earliest Davies could take office. He would serve out Crockett’s term, ending the first day of 2015.

Rita Moran, chairwoman of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, said Democrats picked Davies over Philip Hart, a Gardiner city councilor, after an “open and honest” debate.

Davies is a former state legislator from Orono, and he was chosen to be Maine’s public advocate — energy ratepayers’ chief representative before the Maine Public Utilities Commission — by former Gov. John Baldacci in 2007. Before then, he was an energy adviser to Baldacci, a Democrat.

His term was up earlier this year, when LePage replaced him with Timothy Schneider, an attorney who formerly worked at Pierce Atwood, a Portland firm, representing utilities before the commission.

Since Crockett resigned after winning a primary, state law says the governor must replace him with a nominee from the same party, choosing from “any recommendations” made by the county Democratic committee.

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