It’s been a strikingly ridiculous year for Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R). He tried to block dozens of legislative measures, before losing at the state Supreme Court and watching the bills become law as a result of his own incompetence. The Tea Party Republican is also mired in an abuse-of-power scandal – LePage doesn’t deny the allegations – which may lead to his impeachment.
The governor’s policies are taking their toll on the state; he’s broached the subject of resigning; and Politico recently felt comfortable publishing a piece that asked whether LePage is “playing with a full deck.”
It’s against this backdrop that the Maine governor is thinking about parlaying his two statewide victories into a U.S. Senate campaign. The Bangor Daily News reported this week:
During an afternoon appearance Tuesday on a conservative talk radio show, Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage said he may run for the U.S. Senate in 2018. […]LePage said specifically he was thinking about challenging U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent and former two-term governor, because King caucuses with Democrats in Washington.
The governor told radio host Howie Carr this week, “I’m thinking about it very strongly.”
Keep in mind, it’s entirely possible LePage, who won a second term last year in a three-way race, will have been driven from office in disgrace long before the 2018 election cycle. Indeed, the investigation that may lead to the governor’s impeachment is ongoing and moving forward.
What’s less clear is whether impeachment would deter LePage’s Senate ambition or encourage it.