Gov. Paul LePage told a Boston-based radio talk show host Monday night that he is considering running against U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018.
It was difficult to determine whether LePage, Maine’s Republican governor, was serious when he was asked by Howie Carr, a well-known conservative radio talk show host, if he was going to run against King, an independent.
“After his real profile in courage, I’m considering it,” LePage told Carr. When asked to elaborate on his response, LePage said it was a reference to King’s switching his political support from independent Eliot Cutler to Democrat Mike Michaud late in last fall’s gubernatorial race.
“I just thought it was a horrible thing to do,” LePage said in the interview.
LePage’s comment came near the end of a 17-minute interview with Carr that touched on a wide range of topics, including whether his siblings voted for him in the last gubernatorial election.
Asked if the governor was serious about a possible run for the Senate, Brent Littlefield, LePage’s political strategist and adviser during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, did not directly answer the question.
“Howie Carr is a successful author and entertainer. The governor is focused on economic growth, jobs and prosperity through a lower tax burden in Maine,” Littlefield said.
Scott Ogden, a spokesman for King, said the senator was unavailable for comment Monday night.
In Monday’s radio interview, LePage joked with Carr as they touched on multiple topics.
When asked if he thought he was the most conservative governor in the United States, LePage replied, “Oh, I think so.”
LePage, in response to another question, said he has not spoken to Michaud since the November election, but said he has spoken with Cutler.
“We exchanged notes. I think Eliot is a pretty bright guy,” LePage said.
Carr, who grew up in Portland, asked the governor if any of his siblings who still live in Maine – he is the oldest of 18 children – voted for him in November.
“I doubt it,” LePage said.