AUGUSTA — Members of Maine’s Franco-American community are frustrated by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s self-deprecating humor about his French heritage.

LePage said this week that the veto process laid out in the state’s Constitution is very clear. He added that “even I can understand it and I’m French.” Last week, he told reporters they were misusing a word and said “that’s coming from a Frenchman.”

Mitch Thomas, executive director of the Franco Center in Lewiston, tells the Maine Public Broadcasting Network that the governor’s demeaning remarks are disturbing to many. Former state senator and representative Judy Ayotte Paradis of Frenchville said LePage is “reinforcing the stereotype of the dumb Frenchman.”

LePage is Maine’s first popularly elected Franco-American governor. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

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