AUGUSTA — Gov. Janet Mills has tapped a former state attorney general for one vacancy on the Maine Ethics Commission and a Hampden town councilor to fill the other as the commission heads into the busy election season.

Mills nominated William Schneider, a Durham Republican, Army veteran, West Point graduate and former Maine attorney general to fill a Republican seat on the commission vacated by Bradford Pattershall of Freeport, who stepped down to run for the state Senate in January.

Mills also nominated Dennis Marble, a town councilor from Hampden, to serve in a long-vacant independent seat on the commission, which enforces the state’s campaign finance and government ethics laws. Marble is a Colby College graduate and holds a masters degree in counseling from the University of Maine.

Mills’ nominations follow recent concerns voiced by commission members that the five-member panel might be unable to do its work if one of the three current members needed to be recused for a conflict of interest.

The independent seat has been vacant since Margaret Matheson stepped down in March 2018. She served nearly three years beyond her term, as the Legislature and two different governors struggled to find an acceptable replacement.

The commission is an independent state agency that administers the state’s campaign finance laws, the Maine Clean Election Act and the lobbyist disclosure law. Its five members are jointly nominated by the governor and legislative leaders. The panel issues advisory opinions on campaign finance law and conducts investigations related to legislative ethics.

Both of Mills’ nominees will face confirmation votes before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and in the state Senate.

If confirmed, Schneider and Marble would join current commissioners William A. Lee III, a Waterville Democrat; Richard A. Nass, an Acton Republican; and Meri N. Lowry, a Portland Democrat.

Mills praised both nominees in a prepared statement issued by her office Friday morning.

“The Maine Ethics Commission serves as an important guardian of our state’s election laws, and I take seriously my responsibility to appoint qualified individuals,” Mills said. “Bill Schneider and Dennis Marble are qualified, respected, and experienced in their fields, and have proven track records of working across the aisle to get things done.

“I am confident they will serve the people of Maine and our state’s election systems well on the commission.”

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