AUGUSTA — A legislative panel has endorsed the appointment of Mary Mayhew as commissioner of Maine’s Health and Human Services Department.

The committee that oversees the agency, one of the state’s largest, voted 10-3 Tuesday to recommend the appointment of Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee. Mayhew, of South China, still faces a Senate confirmation vote.

As commissioner, she would be in charge of the department that administers welfare, MaineCare, food stamps and other social services. Mayhew is a former Maine Hospital Association executive.

Asked about that connection during her hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee, Mayhew said she intends to be “a tireless advocate” for the most vulnerable in her new job, just as she was for her previous employers.

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