AUGUSTA — A legislative panel has supported Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee for director of the Maine Technology Institute.

The Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee unanimously endorsed Brian Whitney’s nomination Monday. The Augusta resident has held the role in an acting capacity since August after the institute’s former director, Robert Martin, was ousted by LePage.

Whitney has been the director of business development and innovation for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development since 2012.

He told the committee on Monday that he’s thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to work with lawmakers to help grow the economy and create good paying jobs.

The Maine Technology Institute is a publicly-funded nonprofit in Brunswick that focuses on promoting technological research and development.

The full Senate will now consider Whitney’s nomination.

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