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 KingDrama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs 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 TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 PaulOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Congress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration 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.