Maine Assistant U.S. Attorney William Schneider was elected by the state legislature on Wednesday as the state’s next attorney general, The Portland Press-Herald reported.
On Tuesday, Maine Republicans nominated Schneider during a party caucus as their candidate. Schneider defeated outgoing state Sen. Douglas Smith, the Associated Press reported. Democrats had nominated the current state Attorney General, Janet Mills. Maine is the only state where the attorney general is elected by secret ballot in the legislature, rather than by the general population, as is the case in most states. On Wednesday, Schneider beat out Mills during a joint House-Senate caucus.
Schneider, who previously served three terms in the Maine House and six years as an assistant state attorney general, has been with the Maine U.S. Attorney’s office since 2002. He previously was nominated twice for state attorney general by the party caucus; however, because the Republicans were in the minority he was never elected.