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Maine Democrats choose their lawmaker for attorney general

December 4, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Democrats enjoying newfound dominance over the Statehouse chose a fellow lawmaker Tuesday to serve as the state’s top law enforcement official.

A majority of Democrats selected Rep. Aaron Frey to be the next attorney general by a secret ballot Tuesday. The full Legislature will formally elect the attorney general and constitutional officers by secret ballot Wednesday.

Frey, 39, a Bangor lawyer with a law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, came out ahead over four other Democrats, Sen. Mike Carpenter, departing Sen. Mark Dion, lawyer Tim Shannon and district attorney Maeghan Maloney. Republicans don’t plan to nominate a candidate for the office.

Frey and other attorney general hopefuls promised to address the opioid crisis, push back against President Donald Trump’s environmental policies and improve relations with Maine’s tribal nations.

“The Trump administration poses some really significant challenges to the way we live here in Maine,” Frey said, criticizing rollbacks of environmental programs and attacks on former President Obama’s signature health care law.

Frey said that as attorney general, he would set a tone that individuals struggling with opioid use disorder should be treated, not criminalized. He said the state should have done more to target the opioid crisis.

“We should be doing better,” Frey said. “And now we can.”

Frey is set to succeed Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills, who will be sworn-in as governor in January.

Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is up for another term. And Democratic attorney Henry Beck is lobbying to serve as state treasurer.

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