Maine: An Encyclopedia

Constitutional Offices

Secretaries of State

820-21 Ashur Ware, Portland
1822-28 Amos Nichols, Augusta
1829-30 Edward Russell, N. Yarmouth
1831-34 Roscoe G. Greene, Portland
1835-37 Asaph R. Nichols, Augusta
1838 Samuel P. Benson, Winthrop
1839 Asaph R. Nichols, Augusta
1840 Philip C. Johnson, Augusta
1841 Samuel P. Benson, Winthrop
1842-44 Philip C. Johnson, Augusta
1845 William B. Hartwell, Augusta
1846-49 E.B. French, Damariscotta
1850-53 John G. Sawyer, Augusta
1854-55 Alden Jackson, Augusta
1856 Caleb R. Ayer, Comish
1857 Alden Jackson, Augusta
1858-60 Noah Smith, Jr., Calais
1861-63 Joseph B. Hall, Presque Isle
1864-67 Ephraim Flint, Jr., Dover
1868-71 Franklin M. Drew, Brunswick
1872-74 Geo. B. Stacy, Richmond
1875 Sidney Perham, Paris
1876-78 S.J. Chadbourne, Dixmont
1879 Edward H. Gove, Biddeford
1880 S.J. Chadbourne, Augusta
1881-84 Joseph O. Smith, Augusta
1885-92 Oramandal Smith, Litchfield
1891-96 Nicholas Fessenden, Fort Fairfield
1897-06 Byron Boyd, Augusta
1907-10 Arthur 1. Brown, Belfast
1911-12 Cyrus W. Dabis, Waterville
1913-14 Joseph E. Alexander, Richmond
1915-16 John E. Bunker, Eden
1917-26 Frank W. Ball, Dover
1927-32 Edgar C. Smith, Augusta
1933-34 Robinson C. Tobey, Augusta
1935-36 Lewis O. Barrows, Newport
1937-41 Frederick Robie, Gorham
1942-60 Harold 1. Goss, Gardiner
1961-64 Paul A. MacDonald, Coopers Mills
1965-66 Kenneth M. Curtis, Cape Elizabeth
1967-74 Joseph T. Edgar, Farmingdale
1975-78 Markham Gartley, Greenville
1979-88 Rodney S. Quinn, Augusta
1989-96 G. William Diamond, Windham
1997-05 Dan Gwadosky, Fairfield
2005-11 Matthew Dunlap, Old Town
2011- Charles E. Summers, Jr. Scarborough

Attorneys General

820-31 Erastus Foote, Wiscasset
1832-33 Jonathan P. Rogers, Bangor
1834-37 Nathan Clifford, Newfield
1838 Daniel Goodenow, Alfred
1839-40 Stephen Emery, Paris
1841 Daniel Goodenow, Alfred
1842-43 Otis L. Bridges, Calais
1844-47 W.B.S. Moor, Waterville
1848 Samuel H. Blake, Bangor
1849-52 Henry Tallman, Bath
1853-54 George Evans, Portland
1855 John S. Abbott, Norridgewock
1856 George Evans, Portland
1857-59 Nathan D. Appleton, Alfred
1860 G.W. Ingersoll, Bangor
1860-63 J.H. Drummond, Portland
1864-66 John A. Peters, Bangor
1867-69 William P. Frye, Lewiston
1870-72 Thomas B. Reed, Portland
1873-75 Harris M. Plaisted, Bangor
1876-78 Lucilius A. Emery, Ellsworth
1879 William H. McLellan, Belfast
1880-84 Henry B. Cleaves, Portland
1885-88 Orville D. Baker, Augusta
1889-92 Charles E. Littlefield, Rockland
1893-96 Frederick A. Powers, Houlton
1897-00 William T. Haines, Waterville
1901-04 George M. Seiders, Portland
1905-08 Hannibal E. Hamlin, Ellsworth
1909-10 W.C. Philbrook, Waterville
1911 Cyrus R. Tupper, Boothbay Harbor
1911-12 William R. Pattangall, Waterville
1913-14 Scott Wilson, Portland
1915-16 William R. Pattangall, Waterville
1917-20 Guy H. Sturgis, Portland
1921-24 Ransford W. Shaw, Houlton
1925-28 Raymond Fellows, Bangor
1929-32 Clement F. Robinson, Portland
1933-36 Clyde R. Chapman, Belfast
1937-40 Franz U. Burkett, Portland
1941-44 Frank I. Cowan, Portland
1945-50 Ralph W. Farris, Augusta
1951-54 Alexander A. LaFleur, Portland
1955-58 Frank F. Harding, Rockland
1959-64 Frank E. Hancock, York
1965-66 Richard J. Dubord, Waterville
1967-71 James S. Erwin, York
1972-74 Jon A. Lund, Augusta
1975-78 Joseph E. Brennan, Portland
1979-80 Richard S. Cohen, Augusta
1981-90 James E. Tierney, Lisbon Fails
1991-94 Michael Carpenter, Houlton
1995-01 Andrew Ketterer, Madison
2001-09 G. Steven Rowe, Portland
2009-11 Janet Mills, Farmington
2011- William J. Schneider, Durham

State Treasurers

1820-22 Joseph C. Boyd, Portland
1823-27 Elias Thomas, Portland
1828 Mark Harris, Portland
1829-30 Elias Thomas, Portland
1831 A. B. Thompson, Brunswick
1832-34 Mark Harris, Portland
1835-37 Asa Redington, Jr., Augusta
1838 James B. Cahoon, Portland
1839 Jeremiah Goodwin, Alfred
1840 Daniel Williams, Augusta
1841 Sanford Kingsbury, Kingsbury
1842-46 James White, Belfast
1847-49 Moses McDonald, Limerick
1850-54 Samuel Cony, Augusta
1855 Woodbury Davis, Belfast
1856 Isaac Reed, Waldoboro
1857-59 Benjamin D. Peck, Portland
1860-64 Nathan Dame, Alfred
1865-68 N.G. Hitchbom, Stockton
1869-73 William Caldwell, Augusta
1874-76 Silas C. Hatch, Bangor
1877-78 Esreft H. Banks, Biddeford
1879 Charles A. White, Gardiner
1880-84 Samuel A. Holbrook, Freeport
1885-87 Edwin C. Burleigh, Bangor
1888-94 George L. Beal, Norway
1895-00 F. Marion Simpson, Carmel
1901-06 Oramandal Smith, Litchfield
1907-10 Pascal P. Gilmore, Bucksport
1911-12 James F. Singleton, Bangor
1913-14 Joseph W. Simpson, York
1915-16 Elmer E. Newbert, Augusta
1917-20 Joseph W. Simpson, York
1921-26 William L. Bonney, Bowdoinham
1927-32 William S. Owen, Milo
1933-36 George S. Foster, Ellsworth
1937-42 Belmont Smith, Bangor
1943-46 Joseph H. McGillicuddy, Houlton
1947-64 Frank S. Carpenter, Augusta
1965-66 Eben L. Elwell, Augusta
1967-68 Michael A. Napolitano, Augusta
1969-74 Norman K. Ferguson, Hanover
1975 Rodney L. Scribner, Augusta
1976-78 Leighton, H. Cooney, Jr., Augusta
1979-80 Jerrold B. Speers, Winthrop
1981-96 Samuel Shapiro, Waterville
1997-05 Dale McCormick, Hallowell
2005-11 David G. Lamoine, Old Orchard Beach
2011- Bruce L. Poliquin, Georgetown

Created by the Maine Constitution and elected by the Legislature, the constitutional offices of Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General are usually members of the political party holding a majority in the combined houses of the legislature.

Secretary of State

Established in 1820 as a constitutional officer, the Secretary of State is authorized to have the custody of the state seal; to keep and preserve the records of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, Senate and House of Representatives. When required he must present these records to either branch of the Legislature, and perform such other duties required by the Constitution or by law. The Secretary’s Department consists of three bureaus.

The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions appoints all notaries public, prepares commissions for appointees and certificates of election to office for presentation to the Governor. The Bureau distributes ballots and other election materials to town clerks. It files articles of incorporation; Uniform Commercial Code transactions, and trademarks. The Bureau maintains rules adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and supervises adherence to that Act.

Through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the department annually registers motor vehicles, issues licenses for operators, and issues certificates of title for vehicles. The Maine State Archives, the third bureau, preserves and provides access to the permanently valuable official state government records, some of which are over 350 years old. Its records management program assists state agencies in the efficient and economical management of their records.

Treasurer of State

A constitutional officer, the Treasurer is authorized to receive and keep records of all items of income accruing to the State; to deposit such items in banks, reconciling the balances and temporarily investing idle funds. The office sells bonds of the State and keeps records pertaining to that debt. It enter into agreements with banks for custodial care and servicing of negotiable securities belonging to the State; establishes accounts for servicing State agencies; and administers the Abandoned Property Program.

The Treasurer also serves on the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, Maine State Housing Authority, Maine State Retirement System, Finance Authority of Maine, Health and Higher Education Loan Authority Boards, Maine Court Facilities Authority, Maine Education Loan Authority and the Maine School Building Authority.

Attorney General

The Attorney General is the State’s chief legal counsel and chief criminal prosecutor. Much of the staff of deputy and assistant attorneys general are assigned to assist State government departments.

Suits against, or by, the State are coordinated through the Attorney General’s Office. All murder cases are prosecuted exclusively through the Office.

The Attorney General serves on the three member Baxter Park Authority.

As a high profile position, incumbents often consider running for higher political office, such as governor.

Additional resources

Legislative History of Proposed Legislation to Change the Method of Selection or the office of Maine’s Constitutional Officers. (compiled by the staff of the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library) Augusta, Me. 2009.

Maine. Secretary of State. “A Brief Statement Concerning the Origin of the Secretary of State and the Department of State in Maine.” Augusta, Me. 1970. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

State of Maine.  Annual Report. Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. Various years.

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This entry was last modified: March 27, 2015 01:41 AM

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