Gov. Paul LePage has appointed lobbyist Holly Lusk to be his deputy chief of staff and policy director. Lusk replaces Kathleen Newman, who left the administration in October after serving at the post for the past seven years.

“Holly previously served as my Senior Advisor for Health Policy, and I am pleased to welcome her back to my staff,” said LePage in a statement.

Serving as LePage’s advisor from 2013 to 2015, Lusk led the charge on a number of bills to make it more difficult for low-income families with children to access food, medicine, shelter and health care.

In 2016, Lusk helped LePage run his “ICE PAC,” which contributed money to elect Republicans to the Legislature. In between stints in the LePage administration, Lusk has worked as a lobbyist for Portland-based lobbying firm Preti-Flaherty for clients including the health insurance company Aetna, casinos, Anheuser-Busch, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Wells Fargo, the Industrial Energy Consumers’ Group, AFLAC insurance, Maine Automobile Dealers Association, Guaranteed Asset Protection Alliance, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the marijuana dispensary Wellness Connection of Maine.

Earlier this year Lusk was the lead lobbyist for Tennessee-based Correct Care Solutions, a spin-off corporation of private prison giant GEO Group, which was seeking to run a facility to house patients with severe mental illness. After the Legislature began asking questions about whether a private company would be running the facility proposed to be built in Augusta, Gov. LePage decided to move it to Bangor. Back in September, Bangor City Council put a six-month moratorium on the proposed facility.

Lusk was also part of a lobbying team working for the American Suntanning Association, which successfully lobbied the governor to veto a bill that would have prohibited tanning facilities from allowing individuals under 18 years of age to use the tanning beds. Proponents of the bill cited studies linking the use of the devices with skin cancer.