Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) is set to endorse fellow Republican Paul LePage for a third term as governor of the state he ran from 2011 to 2019.
Maine’s election laws prohibit governors from serving more than two consecutive terms, meaning LePage was unable to run in its last gubernatorial election. He is now eligible to serve another two terms, if voters favor the boorish businessman who once called himself “Donald Trump before Donald Trump” and “Baby Donald.”
“As Maine recovers from the pandemic, Paul is the best candidate to grow our economy,” Collins says in a campaign video obtained by the Portland Press Herald on Wednesday.
“Paul is a job creator, that’s his background, he’s done it before and he will do it again,” she says.
LePage’s brand of conservatism ― one that is proudly politically incorrect and loose with facts ― appears to run at odds with Collins’ centrist reputation, and the two politicians have bickered in the past, particularly over Trump. LePage declared that Collins was “done in Maine” after she declined to back Trump in 2016.
The same year, LePage inspired a series of headlines on this website for racist claims about the state’s opioid epidemic, at one point actually encouraging his fellow Mainers to shoot drug dealers. LePaige asserted that the drug dealers in Maine were mostly people of color ― and thus people of color were “the enemy” in a state that is just about 95% white.
“You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority right now coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin,” he said, out loud, five years ago.
Buckle up, Maine.