AUGUSTA — Mary Mayhew, who has served as Maine commissioner of Health and Human Services since the beginning of Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure, will be leaving that post Friday.

LePage announced her departure Wednesday in a prepared statement, in which he said she did an “exceptional job” at the helm of state government’s largest department.

“She spearheaded the many important welfare reforms developed under my administration and she was the lightning rod for constant criticism from the media, liberal legislators and the special interests who wanted to protect and grow Maine’s entitlement programs,” LePage said in a written statement. “But she handled it all with grit and grace.”

Mayhew, who previously served as a lobbyist for Maine hospitals, was a registered Democrat when LePage nominated her to run the department through which he engineered many of his plans to overhaul Maine’s public assistance system. She has been mentioned as a 2018 Republican candidate for governor.

An acting commissioner of the DHHS will be named later this week.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew will be leaving the position effective Friday.

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