AUGUSTA — A legislative committee voted 10-2 today in support of Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee to lead the state Department of Corrections.

Joseph Ponte, 64, of Nevada, has more than 40 years of experience in public and private prison systems. He told the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee that if he’s confirmed by the Senate, he will sell his holdings in Corrections Corp. of America, the country’s largest private-sector corrections company and his current employer.

Opponents said they worried about his connection to the company and that he lacks experience working with juveniles, women and the mentally ill. Supporters say his years of experience in other states with different types of systems will serve Maine well.

His nomination now goes to the Senate for a vote.