Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told supporters at a private fundraiser hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) that he intends to seek reelection, putting to rest speculation that he would not seek a second term.
The fundraiser was closed to the press, but two Maine newspapers, the Maine Sun Journal and the Portland Press Herald, quoted state Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Hampden) saying that LePage made the announcement.
LePage told reporters last week that his future was uncertain. "I am going to be meeting with my family at some point and we are going to be talking it over," he said.
LePage has attracted national attention for his vulgar language and for shutting out the press. He said that a Maine Democratic lawmaker "claims to be for the people, but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline." He also has compared the IRS to the Gestapo and told the Portland branch of the NAACP to "kiss my butt."
His office recently said it would not comment to the Press Herald, Kennebec Journal or the Morning Sentinel.
A January Public Policy Polling survey showed that LePage is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, with a 39 percent approval rating. However, he bested a Democratic challenger in a three-way race with independent candidate Eliot Cutler, who announced he was running again in June. LePage won in 2010 in a similar three-way race with Cutler narrowly losing.
Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) announced recently that he is exploring a run for governor, potentially giving the Democrats a big-name challenger.