The Hancock County treasurer, a registered Republican who was publicly accused by other county officials of not adequately managing the county’s finances, has not filed papers to run in this year’s primary election.
Michael Boucher was elected to the position as a write-in candidate in 2018 after no one filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office to have their name appear on the ballot in that year’s general election.
The deadline for filing to run in the June party primaries was Tuesday, March 15, but Boucher did not submit papers prior to the 5 p.m. deadline, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Boucher is registered as a Republican in Sorrento, where he lives.
Monica Cease, an Ellsworth resident who was hired last fall as the county’s appointed finance director, has filed papers to run in the Democratic primary for Hancock County treasurer.
Cease was brought on to run the county’s finance office after Scott Adkins, the county administrator, told commissioners that Boucher, who had no prior experience in fiscal management, was not making an effort to learn how to manage the county’s books — an accusation that Boucher denied.
Unlike the positions of county sheriff or district attorney, being elected county treasurer does not require prior experience or professional certifications. Candidates for county treasurer need only to be a resident of the county where they run for office.
By law, an elected county treasurer’s duties are to receive and account for revenue, to pay and account for bills, and to assure there is an external audit of the county’s finances each year. Cease was hired to oversee daily operations of the county’s financial office.
John Wombacher, chairman of the county commission, said Wednesday that he and other county officials had not heard anything from Boucher about whether he planned to seek re-election this year. He said that he would not be surprised if Boucher decided not to run again.
“There’s been no communication,” Wombacher said.
Wombacher said commissioners have been happy with Cease’s job performance since she was hired in September.
Boucher did not respond this week to multiple messages from the Bangor Daily News about whether he has made a conscious decision not to seek re-election, or if he plans to run in November as an independent or as again a write-in candidate.
In 2018 Boucher narrowly edged fellow write-in candidate Pamela Linscott, then the county’s appointed finance coordinator, by 74 votes, getting 478 to her 404. Boucher, who at the time was working as a part-time corrections officer at the Hancock County Jail, took over the treasurer position from Janice Eldridge, who had opted not to run again.