Maine Gov. LePage (R) to seek reelection

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), who in recent days has entertained both retirement and running for Congress in 2014, said at a private event Tuesday that he will seek another term as governor.

LePage consultant Brent Littlefield said the announcement was not LePage's official campaign launch, but that he did confirm he would be on the ballot again. He spoke at an event featuring former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

"Governor Bush noted that Paul was not a polished politician, but that people will look at the record of accomplishment on lower unemployment and an improving economy," Littlefield said. "He said people recognize that Paul LePage brings real world experience as a job creator and businessman to the job."

State Sen. Andre Cushing (R), who was present at the event, said Bush urged LePage to clear up any doubts about his political intentions and to run hard for reelection. He said LePage agreed that he would do so and was met by cheers.

LePage first term has been marked by controversial comments and clashes with the state legislature. Two weeks ago, he used a vulgar metaphor involving Vaseline to describe a Democratic state senator, and last week, LePage suggested he might not seek reelection after the legislature overrode his veto of the state budget.

A top Republican state senator, in an op-ed published last week, said he was "embarrassed" by LePage's conduct.

For a time, LePage had suggested he might run for Rep. Mike Michaud's (D-Maine) seat in 2014, in what would have been an odd move for a sitting governor.

Michaud is running for governor, which means that LePage is likely to face a three-way matchup in that race, among himself, Michaud and independent candidate Eliot Cutler.  Polls suggest LePage, despite having subpar approval numbers, can win in such a race. Cutler finished a close second behind LePage in 2010.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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