Paul LePage enters Maine governor’s race
Paul R. LePage, the former Republican governor of Maine for two terms, plans to run for his old post again in 2022, announcing “I’m in” Monday despite leaving the state for sunny Florida after his term ends. precedent and declaring himself finished with politics.
Mr LePage, 72, has been replaced as governor by Democrat Janet Mills, but state term limitation law allows him to run for a third non-consecutive term, in which he has expressed interest for for almost a year.
A Republican who shunned protocol and used inflammatory rhetoric before former President Donald J. Trump entered the political arena, Mr. LePage left office with a 40 percent approval rating.
He courted controversy from the start of his administration. In 2011, he said he would skip events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and told the NAACP to “kiss my ass.” This was just the first in a series of inflammatory remarks about race from Mr. LePage during his tenure as governor.
With its challenge to Ms Mills, the 2022 race would be the rare contest pitting two governors – one former and one current – against each other.
“We must work to build a better future based on individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and an economy that empowers everyone, including our rural communities,” said Mr. LePage in a Facebook post.
Maine has been a battleground state in national races, with Republican Senator Susan Collins fending off a costly challenge in 2020 and both the Trump and President Biden campaigns aggressively competing for an electoral vote in the state.