Former Maine Gov. LePage to challenge Democratic incumbent in 2022

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Wednesday that he intends to run for his former seat in 2022 when Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is up for reelection. 

LePage slammed Mills’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in an interview with conservative talk radio host Howie Carr on Wednesday, when he announced his intention to run in two years. 

“We’ve got to wait two more years, but I fully intend to challenge her,” LePage said. 

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“I am going to challenge Janet Mills or the Democratic party in 2022, because in 2022 the state’s going to be worse off than it was when I took over in 2010, and I do believe that I have the skill set to fix it,” he added. 

LePage criticized Mills over her statewide stay-at-home order, which the governor extended to remain in place through the end of May. 

Mills’s new extended order issued Wednesday allows some nonessential businesses to reopen, including barber shops and hair salons, auto dealerships and drive-in religious services. 

“I think the remedy is a lot worse than the virus,” LePage said. “I think she’s destroying the state … I might have to come back early.”

Maine’s health department has reported a statewide total of 1,056 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 52 deaths. 

Although some states are beginning the start of gradual, phased reopenings, most nonessential businesses remain shuttered across the country. Polls have indicated that Americans are in support of the restrictions, despite a few protests breaking out in several states, including Maine. 

LePage was elected governor in 2010 and served until 2019 when Mills took office. 

LePage refused to expand Medicaid multiple times while in office, even after it was approved by voters in a referendum.

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