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New slate of prominent Maine officials facing vote

AUGUSTA, Maine — The list of candidates for four of Maine’s top state offices will get shorter Tuesday when newly elected lawmakers gather by political party and nominate their choices. The winners may be some familiar faces.

It is virtually guaranteed that all three Republicans occupying the so-called constitutional offices — Attorney General William Schneider, Secretary of State Charlie Summers, and Treasurer Bruce Poliquin — will lose their jobs now that the Democrats have recaptured majorities in the House and Senate.

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Auditor Neria Douglass, a Democrat, is barred by term limits from extending her eight-year tenure, so she is running for treasurer. She faces Jeremy Fischer, a Portland attor­ney and former legislator who was House chairman of the Appropriations Committee in 2007-08. The incumbent treasurer — Poliquin, a Republican — is not asking that his name be placed in nomination by his party.

In the attorney general’s race, Janet Mills, who held the post when Democrats were last in power in 2009-10, wants her old job back. She faces a challenge by trial lawyer Timothy Shannon of Yarmouth, a newcomer who said: “This is a moment for a fresh start.’’

Before becoming Maine’s first woman attorney general, Mills served in the Maine House. She has also served as district attorney for Androscoggin, Oxford, and Franklin counties for 15 years. The incumbent attorney general, William Schneider, is expected to ask his party to place his name in nomination for a new term.

Matthew Dunlap, a former secretary of state, is also seeking his old office in a race against fellow Democrat Brian Bolduc of Auburn. A former four-term House member, ­Dunlap later served three terms as secretary of state, then ran in the 2012 US Senate primary.

Bolduc was elected to the House of Representatives just out of college at the age of 22 and has served four terms since 1997, ‘‘gaining a fundamental understanding of the workings of state government as a result,’’ he said. Summers opted not to seek another term, his spokeswoman said Monday.

With Douglass leaving the auditor’s post, at least two candidates have come forward to replace her, Democrats say. They include Pola Buckley, principal auditor in the state auditor’s office, and Gail Chase, a former state auditor who previously served as a House member from China.

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