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Gov. Paul Page is temporarily withdrawing his nomination of Bill Beardsley as commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, saying Democrats plan to reject Beardsley because of the governor's stance on transgender issues

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AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul Page is temporarily withdrawing his nomination of Bill Beardsley as education commissioner because he says Democrats plan to reject Beardsley for reasons unrelated to his qualifications for the job.

LePage in a news release Tuesday said he halted the nomination after learning that Democrats plan to use Beardsley's confirmation hearing as a platform to advance an "activist political agenda."

Democrats are upset that LePage has stopped the Department of Education from issuing rules that would protect transgender students.

Ellsworth Republican Sen. Brian Langley, who co-chairs the committee, said in a statement that his priority is ensuring that Beardsley's qualifications are fully vetted by the committee and that he hopes the committee can "move forward soon."

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