Gov-elect nominates economic development chief

Published 12-27-2018

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills has tapped a state broadband official as her economic development chief.

Mills announced Thursday she's nominating ConnectME Authority Director Heather Johnson as Maine's next Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner.

Mills says Johnson will work to see that Maine and its rural areas prosper. The gov.-elect wants to expand broadband access and stimulate the economy with targeted grants and loans.

Johnson would replace acting commissioner Denise Garland. She'll oversee a bureau whose programs include community block grants, tax relief and tourism marketing.

The 48-year-old Johnson of Norridgewock served as former executive director of the Somerset Economic Development Corporation. She's also worked for Polaroid and Nokia.

The Legislature's new Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Commerce Committee and the Maine Senate will consider her nomination.

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