In terms of Maine politics, Angus King is easily one of the most popular elected officials. He has won multiple elections without being enrolled in a political party. Despite being labeled as a liberal aligned with the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party has generally not embraced him and at times even openly opposed his candidacies. But despite being hit from both sides, he’s been elected twice as Governor and decades later to United States Senate.
While registering as an Independent, he is a left-leaning politician who generally aligns with the liberal cause and caucuses with Democrats. His Independent status adds to his reputation with people though. If conservatives and libertarians have any hope at defeating Senator King, it will take a serious threat. The Republican Party lacks a depth of serious threats, however.
But what about the Governor? Could Paul Lepage defeat Angus King?
LePage has his own history defying the odds. As a Mayor from Waterville, he was widely seen as a long shot in Maine. Through the 2010 Republican primary, he was viewed as a candidate with no serious chance to win. Without name recognition or an established political background, he wasn’t viewed as a real contender.
Then he won 37.4 percent of the vote in a seven-man primary, more than doubling the votes of runner up Les Otten.
From there he entered the race against Maine Senate President Libby Mitchell and was again viewed as a long-shot. He won again. Then four years later, he was up against popular Congressman Mike Michaud and was re-elected.
The key to Governor Paul LePage’s success in Maine is his background. He has a background in business, both founding a consulting firm and being general manager of popular Maine business, Marden’s. He had a background in executive politics being the Mayor of Waterville, though he was never a career politician like a number of his vanquished opponents.
As Governor of Maine, he established a no-nonsense approach to doing business. Similar to President Donald Trump’s style as President, he developed a reputation of not accepting political realities as a roadblock to accomplishing things. While it would at times backfire as a distraction, he wasn’t one for playing the partisan games.
In terms of policy, he’s taken aim at government waste and cutting back on the state bureaucracy. He’s also taken an interest in the drug crisis, which is becoming a national epidemic. This, in addition to his business and executive experience, puts him in a unique position if he were to enter the United States Senate race.
There is no shortage of waste in the federal government, but there is a shortage of politicians with the mettle to tackle the runaway spending. LePage would become one of the few willing to tell it like it is, regardless of the political implications. A breath of fresh air that the swamp desperately needs.
With a lack of a serious and credible opponent to Senator Angus King, it’s time that the Governor considers stepping up to the plate. Mainers deserve better than a false Independent who often sides with the liberal policies of the Democratic Party.
The importance of this race to Republicans is emphasized by the involvement of Steve Bannon, who was reportedly looking to the Governor’s wife, Ann, a couple months ago. Either LePage running for Maine against Senator Angus King would be a boost for the Republican Party. The entrance of a credible candidate against the liberal Independent would be big for conservatives, who would love nothing more than to hand Senator King his first electoral loss.