Gov. Paul LePage has nominated Portland attorney Timothy Schneider to serve as the state’s Public Advocate. The advocate’s job is to represent the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, including issues regarding electricity and natural gas prices. The Office of the Public Advocate also supports Maine residents on matters related to telecommunications, including accessibility to broadband Internet service. LePage said in a statement that expanding access to broadband and lowering electricity prices are critical to making Maine more competitive. He called Maine’s energy prices, among the highest in the nation, a “huge jobs killer.” Richard Davies had served as the Public Advocate since 2007. His term expired Feb. 1.