July 3, 2013

LePage: I'm running for re-election

The governor makes his announcement at a fundraiser with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, where tickets went for $150 to $3,000.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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In this January file photo, Gov. Paul LePage holds a press conference at the University of New England's College of Dental Medicine. LePage said Tuesday, July 2, 2013 he's running for re-election.

Gabe Souza / Staff Phoptographer

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Attendees, including one wearing a Republican-themed sweater, walk into a private fundraiser for Gov. Paul LePage at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport on Tuesday.

Carl D. Walsh / Staff Photographer

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Bush's family has long had a summer home in Kennebunkport.

His appearance at LePage's fundraiser was noteworthy. Bush, who has become something of an elder spokesman for the Republican Party as a son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has expressed hopes that it can evolve into the party of "inclusion and acceptance."

That appears to clash with LePage, who has a history of controversial and divisive comments and has been willing to call out members of his own party.

The Democratic National Committee seized on Bush's support for LePage as an example of how Republican leaders "remain beholden to the tea party base that continues to call the shots in today's GOP."

According to The Associated Press, Bush spokesman Jaryn Emhof responded by saying, "I know (Bush) has a lot of respect for what Gov. LePage is trying to get done in the state," and the two spent time together at a national education conference and have "a good rapport."

One lone protester, Steve Schran, 64, of New Gloucester, picketed in front of the resort Tuesday as guests arrived. He held a sign that read "Go Home Jeb Bush," and "Common core = communist core," referring to Bush's educational philosophy, some of which LePage has tried to implement in Maine, including charter schools. Schran said he spent three decades as a Maine schoolteacher.

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant criticized the timing and site of LePage's announcement.

"It's telling when the governor of a state chooses a high-dollar fundraiser closed off to the press to announce he's running for re-election," Grant said. "Could LePage make it any more obvious that when it comes to being governor, he doesn't care about Maine's middle class and average working people?"

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:


Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

Correction:  This article was updated at 9:46 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 to note that Sen. Susan Collins did attend the fundraiser.

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Additional Photos

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Les Otten, who was a candidate for governor in 2010, speaks to members of the media outside the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, where he was attending a fundraiser for Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday. At left is Veronica Cross.

Carl D. Walsh / Staff Photographer

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Bruce Poliquin, right, a former candidate for governor, chats with other guests outside the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, where he was attending a fundraiser for Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday.

Carl D. Walsh / Staff Photographer

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was among those raising money for Gov. LePage on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at the governor's first major re-election event.

2007 Staff File Photo

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