GOV. PAUL LEPAGE speaks at a news conference at the State House in Augusta in this Jan. 8 file photo. LePage told reporters Wednesday that Mainers are allowed to carry concealed handguns.

GOV. PAUL LEPAGE speaks at a news conference at the State House in Augusta in this Jan. 8 file photo. LePage told reporters Wednesday that Mainers are allowed to carry concealed handguns.

LEWISTON

One day Maine’s governor is talking about using the guillotine on drug dealers. The next, he’s talking about using guns.

Gov. Paul LePage told reporters Wednesday that Mainers are allowed to carry concealed handguns and added: “Load up and get rid of the drug dealers.”

LePage later said he wasn’t suggesting vigilantism.

His comments during a visit to Lewiston come a day after he joked about using the guillotine on drug dealers.

The Republican governor has voiced frustration over out-of-state drug dealers he blames for fueling Maine’s heroin epidemic. He said he supports charging them with a homicide if their drugs are linked to an overdose death. He also said Maine should bring back the death penalty.

He’s routinely rankled critics for outlandish comments, such as saying dealers come to Maine and impregnate “white girls.”

Twin cities merger

Lewiston and Auburn already share some consolidated services, but Gov. Paul LePage wants them to go further. He wants them to merge into one city straddling the Androscoggin River.

LePage made the comment Wednesday when he met Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte and Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald at Simones’ Hot Dog Stand, an iconic eatery.

The Sun Journal reported that LePage told the mayors that the combined city could become “the next economic engine” and the “next Portland” with a population of 150,000 within five years. LePage also offered to come back and meet with city councilors on both sides of the Androscoggin River to discuss the issue.

Macdonald said he supports the idea. LaBonte, who’s an adviser to LePage, voiced some reservations. Both were re- elected in November and December.


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