AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage delayed announcing his choice for education commissioner Wednesday, but his senior policy adviser said he is being considered for the post.

Stephen Bowen of Rockport, LePage’s senior policy adviser on education, said he’s “under consideration” to lead the Department of Education, according to Robert Kautz, executive director of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education.

Bowen’s remarks came Wednesday during a legislative breakfast sponsored by the coalition.

Reached in his office late Wednesday morning, Bowen didn’t confirm that he is the administration’s choice for education commissioner, but he said LePage had “forwarded a name” to the State Board of Education. That candidate was to meet privately with the board Wednesday, after the board’s regularly scheduled meeting at 1 p.m.

Before starting work for LePage last month, Bowen directed the Center for Education Excellence at the Maine Heritage Policy Center. In that position, he authored position papers advocating for greater school choice, charter schools, tying teachers’ pay to students’ academic performance, and aggressive measures to reform underperforming schools.

From 2002 to 2006, Bowen was a state representative. He was a social studies teacher in middle and high schools until he joined the Maine Heritage Policy Center in 2007.

If confirmed as education commissioner, Bowen would be the second member of LePage’s inner circle to join the Cabinet. Mary Mayhew, LePage’s health policy adviser, was confirmed this week as commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services.

LePage was set to announce his pick for education commissioner on Wednesday — his administration sent an alert about it late Tuesday — but he told reporters that he had to defer to the State Board of Education before announcing his nominee.

“There’s a protocol we have to follow,” LePage said. “We’re asking them to look at that person today.”

A 1981 law requires that the governor include the chairman of the State Board of Education in selecting a new commissioner.

By law, the governor must allow board members to meet with and interview candidates for the position. Within 10 days of that meeting, the board must give the governor “its written appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses” of the candidates, according to the statute.

The law says the governor must take the board’s feedback into account before nominating a commissioner.

LePage’s spokesman Dan Demeritt said the administration delayed making its nomination “out of respect for the process.”

“We’ve been aware (of the law) for a while,” he said. “It wasn’t like we just stumbled across it this morning.”

Demeritt said an announcement is possible as early as today. Bowen said the governor would wait to see what the board has to say.

Board chairman James Banks said the delay in LePage’s announcement was the result of “a breakdown in communication.”

He said the board wouldn’t delay in delivering its written recommendation to LePage.

“It’s my hope that within the next day or so, I will have a written recommendation on his desk,” he said. “That’s about as expedient as I can make it.”