Gov. Paul LePage is calling on Attorney General Janet Mills and Treasurer Terry Hayes to resign or take leaves of absence from their respective positions in state government while they run for governor.

In separate letters sent Monday, LePage told Mills and Hayes that they should step down and stop taking taxpayer-funded paychecks “to avoid any potential conflict of interest.” While LePage’s letter to Hayes was more straight-forward, the governor took a political swipe at Mills as he accused the Democrat of using her office to benefit her campaign.

“You are clearly not doing the job as attorney general for the people of Maine,” LePage wrote to Mills, with whom he has clashed repeatedly and publicly over the past several years. “For example, you have refused to represent the Executive Branch in several legal matters of vital importance to the Maine people, and it appears you are using your office as a campaign headquarters.”

Mills and Hayes, an independent, are two of the four candidates running to succeed LePage as governor this November. The other two are Republican businessman Shawn Moody and economic development consultant Alan Caron.

The Mills and Hayes campaigns could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

This story will be updated.

Gov. Paul LePage

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