Paul LePage not sure about Senate run or Susan Collins for governor

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Moments after declaring that he didn’t think he would make a good legislator, Gov. Paul LePage told a radio station Thursday that he is “seriously considering” taking on U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018.

LePage told the Portland-based WGAN that he’s not interested in retiring or taking a desk job with the Trump administration, but might be open to serving as an ambassador after he leaves office next year.

The governor also said he’s not sure U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is the right person to succeed him because “I don’t know her well enough to know if she can do the job” as chief executive officer of the state.

He said he “would not endorse her’ until he sees how she does on the campaign trail if Collins opts to run for Maine’s top job next year. There are “many people in Maine” who have the necessary skills to take on the position, LePage said.

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LePage said, too, that if Collins decided to run for governor and wins, “she’s gotta resign” as senator after the election. “She can’t be holding two jobs,” the governor said.

If that happens, he said, “I would have to appoint somebody” to fill out the remaining two years of her term in the Senate. He declined to say whether he might choose himself.

“I don’t think I would make a very good legislator,” LePage said, because he has a different set of skills that most lawmakers.

“Legislators don’t do much,” the governor said, and he’s not sure he could stomach sitting through long committee meetings day after day. “That would be boring,” LePage said.

But, he said, he thinks he can offer policy options the country would benefit from.

In any case, LePage said he has no intention of retiring after he leaves the Blaine House following his second term as governor. He is not allowed to run again because of term limits.

“I will definitely be doing something,” LePage said, in either the the government or private sector.

One alternative he appeared to take off the table is going to work in Washington for President Donald Trump, an ally.

“I’m not looking to be at a desk every day, pounding away,” LePage said.

In the meantime, LePage said he’ll continue to work to lower electricity rates and cut administrative costs in education.

He said he doesn’t do it to be popular. He said he simply wants to do what’s best for Mainers.

“If I need love, I come home,” LePage said. “And if I don’t get enough in home, I go get another dog.”

Gov. Paul LePage

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