LePage approved to run for third term as Maine governor
Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has officially been approved to run for a third term as the chief executive of the Pine Tree State.
A spokesperson for the Maine secretary of state’s office told NBC News Center Maine on Wednesday that signatures LePage submitted had been certified, giving his campaign the green light to move forward.
LePage launched his bid for governor in July after having led the state from 2011 to 2019. He was blocked from running for a third consecutive term because of term limits.
Maine, however, allows former governors to run for a third term after sitting one out.
The former governor submitted his paperwork to run on Wednesday, according to the Portland Press Herald.
He told a crowd of media and supporters “we need a state that can be prosperous,” according to the Press Herald.
LePage’s tenure as governor of Maine was marked by cutting taxes, implementing welfare reductions, paying back millions of dollars in Medicare debt to hospitals in the state and enacting changes to the pension system, according to The Associated Press.
He also became known for a handful of controversial and offensive statements. At one point he called protesters and lawmakers “idiots” and associated the IRS with the Nazi Gestapo. He also blamed immigrants for what he believed was an increase in infectious diseases in the state.
LePage has in the past linked himself to former President Trump, saying in one instance that he was “Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular,” according to the AP.
LePage is looking to take on sitting Gov. Janet Mills (D) in the general election. He previously said that if she was elected governor he would flee the state. Mills served as the state’s attorney general before her election to the governor’s mansion.
“I’m going to retire and go to Florida. I’m done with politics. I’ve done my eight years. It’s time for somebody else,” LePage said in 2019, according to the AP.