Rumors have continued to swirl that Maine Governor Paul LePage is considering a candidacy for United States Senate, even after he declared earlier this year he had no intention to do so. Even his wife, Ann, has been swept up in the rumors. Steve Bannon had reportedly sought to recruit Ann LePage to run, something the Governor’s wife confirmed in a radio interview.
Now more recently, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump himself wanted the Governor to run against Senator Angus King. Though an Independent, King generally caucuses with Democrats and aligns with liberals. This has made him a target for allies of the Trump agenda, who want to replace Democratic and even Republican Senators with people who will be more aligned with their causes.
But the big question remains about whether President Trump has what it takes to sway the Governor. According to reports, the President planned to urge Gov. LePage to run and would even offer his endorsement. Gov. LePage’s name originally surfaced in a White House meeting discussing Senate candidates Tuesday night. At a recent local campaign stop, Governor LePage addressed the rumors, calling them “fake news.”
By labeling the claims as fake news, the Governor has again asserted that he has no intention of entering the race against King. This is an enormous disappointment for conservatives who want to replace the current sitting liberal Senator with a legitimate conservative. Governor LePage would give conservatives a legitimate and credible candidate to potentially defeat King’s reelection bid.
It still remains a surprise to observers that he is adamantly opposed to entering the race. For well over a year, he has been a vocal critic of King’s career as a lifetime bureaucrat. It was widely considered a given that he would enter the race considering his remarks.
The absence of a credible candidate from the race all but ensures King will be reelected to push for socialist. Sen. King, a former two-time Maine Governor, is very popular in the Pine Tree State. Being a twice elected governor himself, LePage stands a chance at legitimately taking him down in the general election.
Conservatives should not give up hope yet, however. The involvement of Bannon and President Trump in the race shows there is an interest in recruiting a serious candidate with a chance of defeating the liberal Independent Senator. If anyone can pull it off, they can.
Could Bannon successfully sway Ann LePage in the coming weeks? Could President Trump successfully sway Gov. LePage in the coming weeks? Either choice would give a credible option for conservatives to embrace. It would give hope that King would be finally dealt his first electoral loss.
Gov. LePage is understandably focused on finishing his days in the Blaine House by wrapping up his legacy. Though widely criticized by liberals and the mainstream media, he’s enjoyed popularity strong enough to win a long-shot election and get re-elected. He could conceivably win a Senate election against Maine’s most popular politician. It’s just a question of whether the Governor wants to allow Angus King to return to the United States Senate for another term.