Gov. Paul LePage has just begun his second term as Maine’s governor, but if his remarks to a Boston Globe reporter are to be believed, he could have his sights set on higher office.
In an interview with Globe reporter Bryan Marquard in advance of Wednesday’s inaugural festivities, LePage said he might wait for an opening in the U.S. Senate.
“I think I’d win,” he said with a grin, according to the Globe.
LePage has publicly toyed with a run for Congress in the past. For about a week in June 2013, around the time the Democratically controlled Legislature overrode his veto of the two-year state budget, he let speculation swirl that he would drop his bid for re-election to the Blaine House and run to represent Maine’s 2nd District in Congress.
“I’m considering running for Mike Michaud’s seat if you want to know the truth because it can’t be any worse in Washington than it is here,” LePage said at the time. “Everything’s on the table. Retirement, Social Security, running for Congress, maybe going back to Marden’s to stock shelves, who knows. I don’t take myself as seriously as all you do.”
Of course, events unfolded differently following what was arguably the low point in LePage’s tenure as governor. The governor rallied, ran for re-election and won with 48 percent of the vote. Republican Bruce Poliquin, a LePage ally, ran for Michaud’s seat in Congress and won.
Maine’s next U.S. Senate race will happen in 2018, when Sen. and former Gov. Angus King, an independent, is up for re-election. 2018, of course, will be LePage’s last full year in office.