A dentist from Saco has been selected as the new chairman of the Maine Republican Party.

Dr. Demi Kouzounas, previously vice chairman of the party, was chosen for the top post Saturday at the Maine Republican State Committee meeting in Augusta.

In a phone interview, Kouzounas said one of her goals is to do “more aggressive messaging” and see the party be “a little more inclusive, a little more diverse.”

“I think we have room to grow,” she said. “I think a lot of people have branded us as, I hate to say it, an older group of people, maybe more male-oriented, but I’m here to tell you that that’s not the case. We have a lot of millennials getting involved. We’re looking to have more women involved, and more people of different ethnic diversity.”

Kouzounas also said that Maine needs to be “more fiscally responsible as a state.”

“We have taxation issues,” she said, “and that is a big area that I think is resonating with a lot of working folks here in the state of Maine. We hope to be the Maine voice that is really concerned about jobs, taxes and the economy.”

Kouzounas has 30 employees at locations in Scarborough and Skowhegan, according to the state party’s website. Along with her practice, she also helped start Bright Smiles, a dental clinic for low-income children in Portland, and co-founded Dentists Who Care for ME, which provides free dental care for those who need it.

Rick Bennett, the previous chairman of the Maine Republican Party, said last month that he would not run for another two-year term in January. Bennett, a former Maine Senate president from Oxford, said he intends to remain politically active and did not rule out running for office again, including possibly for governor in 2018.

At the time of Bennett’s announcement, it was reported that Kouzounas was expected to make a bid for the post at Saturday’s meeting of the Maine Republican State Committee, which includes about 80 party officials from around the state.

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