Former Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage formally launched a bid for a third term Monday after previously serving from 2011 to 2019.
LePage made his formal announcement on Twitter and via press release just five days after filing with the state’s ethics commission.
“Maine faces several challenges and we must work toward building a better future based on individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, and an economy which empowers everyone including our rural communities. We simply cannot continue to look to Washington, DC for bailouts, subsidies, or leadership,’’ LePage said in a statement obtained by a local affiliate WGME.
In am in. I am running for Governor of Maine.
We must work toward building a better future based on individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, and an economy which empowers everyone including our rural communities.
— Paul LePage (@PaulLePage2022) July 5, 2021
“I am the product of the American dream, someone who came from poverty and from an ethnic background oppressed by others, but who rose to success as a job creator and local community leader,’’ he posted on Twitter.
LePage will challenge incumbent Democratic governor Janet Mills, who served as Attorney General during LePage’s governorship. The two feuded and clashed frequently while he was in office. LePage later criticized Mills for her response to COVID-19, Maine’s lockdown restrictions and for her efforts to re-open the economy. (RELATED: Maine Governor’s Restrictions On Churches Are ‘Unacceptable,’ Bishop Says)
He also appeared with former President Donald Trump during his 2020 campaign stop in Maine, in which Trump compared Mills to “a dictator.’’ “I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular,” LePage also used to joke, referring to his combative relationship with the media, opposition and his controversies.
LePage won’t have a credible Republican primary opponent and no third-party or independent candidate has emerged, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Mills’ campaign responded to LePage’s announcement in a statement, saying, “As Attorney General and as Governor, Janet has gone to work every day to fight for the lives and livelihoods of Maine people.’’
“Governor Mills has delivered for Maine people time and again, and she is just getting started. As we put this pandemic behind us, she will continue her fight for all Maine people and for a welcoming, stronger, more prosperous state,” the statement continued.
LePage, who is 72 years old, was first elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He was ineligible to run for a third consecutive term. After leaving office, LePage moved to Florida where he registered to vote but moved back to Maine last year, The AP reported.