AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage’s pick for commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services faced direct questioning from Democrats on Tuesday, but ultimately won approval from the legislative committee considering her nomination.

Mary Mayhew, 46, of South China, who currently serves as a top health policy adviser to LePage, a Republican, was approved by a 10 to 3 vote by the Heath and Human Services Committee. All the Republicans and two Democrats on the committee supported her nomination and three Democrats opposed it.

Previously, Mayhew served as vice president of the Maine Hospital Association, where she spent much of her time lobbying lawmakers on behalf of her group.

“My vision for the department is one that focuses on the needs of most vulnerable individuals and families, while at the same time being accountable to the Maine taxpayers for the effective use of those dollars,” said Mayhew, a registered Democrat. “And while there is always a great focus on money, which is clearly important, all decisions need to be made with most vulnerable citizens in mind – it is why the department exists, at the end of the day, to allocate resources efficiently and effectively to meet the needs of those we are charged to serve.”