Maine Gov. LePage rules out Senate bid
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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is ruling out a 2018 Senate bid, according to a top adviser to the governor. 

"Governor Paul LePage has helped the State of Maine achieve the largest number of private sector jobs in history, implement the largest tax cut in state history and implement reforms which have resulted in Maine showing a significant revenue surplus earlier this year, and, while these accomplishments are great, there is more to do," LePage's senior political adviser Brent Littlefield said in a statement Wednesday night.

"Therefore the Governor will remain focused on the job at hand and not enter the United States Senate race in 2018," he added. 

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LePage said last May that he would weigh a Senate bid against incumbent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall MORE (I-Maine) in 2018 if then-candidate Donald Trump did not tap him to serve in his administration. 

The Maine governor said in a radio interview last month that he was still strongly considering a Senate run, but acknowledged in that same appearance that he "wouldn't make a very good legislator."

LePage, a Republican who is in his second term as governor, is set to leave office next year due to state term limits. It's not yet clear what his next move will be. 

LePage was an early backer of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE's insurgent campaign and has remained a steadfast defender of the president in his early months in the White House. 

LePage's decision not to run for office opens up the GOP field, at least for now, to state Senator Eric Brakey, a libertarian-leaning Republican who has been endorsed by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul confronted over 'Republican bullshit' in restaurant This week: Tensions flare over Schiff, impeachment inquiry Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-Ky.). Brakey applauded LePage's decision not to run for Senate.

"As he focuses on fighting for the people of Maine as our Governor, I look forward to working with him to end the reign of Angus King and restore liberty for little guy — not only in Maine — but down in Washington, DC," Brakey said in a statement.