Maine Heritage Policy Center Chief Executive Officer Tarren Bragdon has taken a job in Naples, Florida, the Portland-based conservative think tank announced Tuesday.

Bragdon will launch a new free market think tank that will focus on government transparency and accountability as well as health reform, according to the group.

Bragdon, a former Republican state representative, led the group in Maine for three and a half years. Late last year, he volunteered to serve as a co-director of the transition team for Gov. Paul LePage and played a significant role in crafting the two-year state budget.

Bragdon will leave his job in Maine next month. Michael Duddy, the group’s board chairman, has opened a search to recruit a new CEO.

Dan Demeritt, LePage’s communications director, called Bragdon “a leading voice for free markets and person liberty.”

“Gov. LePage appreciates Tarren’s principled advocacy as well as his counsel to the Governor’s transition and early months in office,” Demeritt said in a statement.


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