PORTLAND (AP) – Peter Cianchette, the 2002 Republican nominee for governor and the 2004 head of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Maine, will be nominated for the post of U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, the White House announced Wednesday.

A former state legislator from South Portland, Cianchette is a partner at CHK Capital Partners, LLC.

Previously, the White House announcement said, he served as president of the Cianchette Group and earlier in his career was chief operating officer and executive vice president at Pierce Atwood Consulting.

Cianchette, citing his pending Senate confirmation review, declined to comment on his nomination on Wednesday.

Republican U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine both said they hope the Senate will move quickly to confirm Cianchette’s nomination by President Bush.

“I have known Peter for a very long time and can attest to his dedication and commitment to public service,” Snowe said. “He is an excellent communicator and is, I believe, an ideal candidate for this opening.”

Collins called Cianchette “a terrific choice for this position. He is a dedicated, hard-working, and well-liked individual whose blend of business, public service and civic service experiences will lend itself to this position.”

The son of one of the founders of the Cianbro Corp. construction firm and a University of Maine graduate, Cianchette would if confirmed succeed Mark Langdale, a Texas businessman who was appointed to the ambassadorship in 2005.

Cianchette currently serves as Maine’s National Republican committeeman and was on the steering committee for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Maine. Cianchette and his wife, Carolyn, have two children and live in South Portland.

AP-ES-02-13-08 1735EST

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