Gov. Paul LePage says he is giving “very serious thought” to a Senate run against Angus King, the current independent senator and former two-term governor whom LePage has accused of using investments in wind energy to increase his personal wealth.

During a speech to the Orono-area business community Tuesday night, LePage said he is considering a 2018 run for Senate, according to Maine Public Broadcasting Network. LePage, a Republican in his second term as governor, has expressed interest in running against King before, but has usually backed off those statements.

This time may be different.

“I’m seriously, seriously giving it some very serious thought and I am talking around the state and I am really looking at the distinction between his performance and my performance,” LePage told a gathering of members of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, MPBN reported. “And I believe that I’ve outperformed him for the people of the state of Maine as governor and I think I can outperform him in Washington as senator.”

LePage did call King a “good governor” and a “likable guy,” but accused him of making money at the expense of Mainers.

“He ripped us off by $104 million during his eight years as governor – he ripped us off, royally, and I can’t wait until 2018 because I’m thinking that’s the guy I’m going after,” LePage said, according to MPBN.


Scott Ogden, King’s spokesman, dismissed LePage’s comments.

“The governor only got two things right: that Senator King is a good guy and that he was a good governor,” Ogden said Wednesday.

King, who was Maine’s governor from 1995 through 2003, launched a wind energy business in 2007, when wind power had virtually no footprint in Maine. He and a business partner, Rob Gardiner, formed Independence Wind, which developed a 22-turbine farm in Roxbury, in northern Oxford County, that relied heavily on federal loan guarantees. King, however, has said that he personally received no taxpayer funding as part of that project.

King sold his stake to Gardiner for $1 in 2011 before running for U.S. Senate, but his ties to the industry became a point of criticism for Republicans during that campaign.

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