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Paul LePage May Not Seek Second Term As Maine Governor

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is uncertain about his political future. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is uncertain about his political future. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced on Wednesday that he may not seek a second term in office.

According to the Maine Sun Journal, LePage was "clearly frustrated" over the legislature's override of his budget bill veto, and told reporters in Augusta that he was uncertain about his political future.

"I am going to be meeting with my family at some point and we are going to be talking it over," LePage said. "Quite frankly, I don't know how you recover from this. I really don't know how you recover from a tax increase. This is a giant obstacle. It's like having a giant hole in the bottom of your ship and you are trying to get across the pond."

"I don't have any more priorities," he added. "We put it all in the budget and got defeated."

LePage has been one of the most unpopular governors in the nation, with a 39 percent approval rating in a January Public Policy Polling survey. Still, the group found that he could win a second term in a three-way contest, which is how he won his seat initially.

He has attracted attention nationally for his controversial comments -- recently targeting a Democratic lawmaker with a sexually vulgar phrase -- and his clashes with labor unions. In 2011, for example, he set off an uproar when he ordered the removal of a mural at a state agency because it was perceived as being biased against businesses.

He has also had testy relations with the media, telling a group of schoolchildren in February, "My greatest fear in the state of Maine: newspapers. I'm not a fan of newspapers."

According to the Sun Journal, LePage also ruled out a bid for Congress, which he had hinted at previously.

Brent Littlefield, a political adviser to LePage, said the governor wasn't giving up, and he would be be issuing a formal announcement about his future later this year.

"The governor has expressed his frustration with the fact that after two years of job growth, as a result of his pro-economy policies, legislative Democrats with a minority of GOP registrants raised tax rates, which may harm the economy," he said. "The governor continues to seek the support of Republicans, independents and moderate Democrats who believe job growth and getting our fiscal house in order should be a top priority for the state."

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