Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, is term-limited and must step down as Maine’s Secretary of State, but is seeking the position of State Auditor. If elected by the Legislature, he would replace outgoing auditor Pola Buckley, who has served two consecutive four-year terms and is also term limited.
Maine legislators will vote on both Buckley’s and Dunlap’s successors when they convene in Augusta on December 2, 2020.
As Secretary of State, Dunlap presided over the recent election that featured record turnout with about half the voters casting absentee ballots to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
The secretary of state is one of the state’s three “constitutional officers” – the others are attorney general and state treasurer. These offices are spelled out in the Maine Constitution and are elected by the Maine House and Senate.
The state auditor office was created by law in 1883 to review the state’s financial statements and federal expenditures – essentially auditing state government spending.
The law requires the auditor be a licensed certified public accountant or a college graduate with at least six years of experience as an accountant or auditor, with no less than five years of auditing experience and at least four years of supervisory experience. The law also allows the Legislature to elect a person who is not qualified so long as they become qualified within nine months.
Dunlap is not currently a certified public accountant but would become one and test for licensure within the time required. So far, he is the only announced candidate for the auditor’s post. The Legislature’s Republican and Democratic caucuses will select their candidates when they meet December 1, 2020.
Democrats hold 80 seats in the 151-seat House and 22 seats in the 35-seat Senate, so they are expected to control the selection of candidates to replace both Buckley and Dunlap
Megan has worked in Maine politics for nearly ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for staff, elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association.