October 27, 2010

LePage Campaign Diary: Front-runner anxious but confident: 'We're going to win'

By Scott Monroe smonroe@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — Paul LePage leaned over his desk, hands folded together, and spoke into the microphone to answer a question submitted by a listener of rock radio station WBLM-FM.

LePage talked about working with unions, alternative energy and funding state programs, and he settled into the groove of his now-familiar theme: Live within your means.

"When you run out of money, you don't go on vacation," LePage said into the microphone.

It was one of four media interviews LePage conducted Tuesday morning. He started with an interview in Augusta at 8 a.m. with radio station 92 Moose, followed by an interview with country radio station WEBB. Then it was back to his campaign headquarters on Main Street in Waterville for interviews with TV station ABC-7/Fox-22 of Bangor, and then with WBLM.

LePage, who is Waterville's mayor and general manager of Marden's Surplus and Salvage, had a little bit of down time after the interviews, but not much.

early afternoon, he was back in the car for the 3½-hour ride from Waterville to Presque Isle, where he and the other gubernatorial candidates met for a debate at 7 p.m.

LePage planned to visit the Marden's store in Presque Isle during the afternoon.

With the campaign nearing its end, LePage leaned back in his office chair late Tuesday morning and said he was feeling anxious, but good.

So good, in fact, that the front-runner in the polls is looking forward to election night, when he's confident his campaign will "start celebrating."

"Frankly, we're going to win this thing," LePage said. "I'm feeling really good."

Importantly, LePage noted, Tuesday's newspapers were carrying a front-page story about a tax exemption claimed by his wife, Ann, for property in Florida, and how the exemption had been deemed legal after months of probing news reports and some tense news conferences.

LePage said that Florida officials were backing up what the family had claimed in the first place, and that his wife had been vindicated against claims that the exemption was illegal.

"I could tell the truth until I'm blue in the face, but it takes a third party," LePage said. "Now, it's time to move on."

And, LePage said, he won't let the "mudslinging" of the other campaigns or organizations bother him as Election Day nears.

LePage admitted that he "got upset" in the campaign's early stages after he what described as "attacks on my family," but he has since decided to stop letting the accusations get to him.

"Talk is cheap; look at the track record," he said.

 

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