This still photo is from a video shot by a Democratic Party staffer at a campaign event in Madawaska on Sunday during which Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage told the videographer, “You come into my space, you’re going down. Enough is enough.” Democrats say they are filming LePage at campaign events in case he distorts the truth. 

Former Gov. Paul LePage threatened to hit a Maine Democratic Party staffer for allegedly invading his personal space while filming LePage and his fellow Republicans as they waited to march in the Acadian Festival Parade in Madawaska on Sunday.

The unidentified staffer, who is paid to chronicle what LePage says and does on the campaign trail, captured the testy exchange on video. LePage is seen hopping over a mud puddle, a Tim Horton’s doughnut in hand, to join a trio of supporters when he comes face to face with the Democratic tracker.

“Six feet away or I’m gonna deck you,” LePage growls, the index finger of his doughnut-free hand pointed at the camera, as he makes his way over to three men sporting LePage campaign stickers. “You come into my space, you’re going down. Enough is enough.”

The Maine Democratic Party sent the 22-second clip to local and national media outlets this week. Its chairman, Drew Gattine, a former state representative whom LePage once challenged to a duel, said the video was proof that LePage hasn’t changed despite his claims of having mellowed out.

“Paul LePage was, is, and always will be a bully,” Gattine said. “When he was governor, he often threatened people with violence and with the power of his office – I saw it firsthand. This latest threatening outburst just goes to show that he’s the same as he’s always been.”

Both parties agree the tracker involved in the parade incident has been following and filming LePage at campaign events for months without incident. When asked to leave, he does. Democrats say the practice, which now is common on most political campaigns, is necessary in case LePage distorts the truth.


In the last month, the same tracker that LePage threatened has filmed him claiming that it was no longer a felony to sell fentanyl in Maine, that voter fraud was possible in Maine’s larger cities and that taxes had gone up during Janet Mills’ first term in office – all of which is untrue, Democratic Party spokesman Misha Linnehan said.

But Republicans called the Democratic tracker’s actions “sneaky” and “invasive” and claimed he crossed the line on Sunday. The tracker almost bumped into LePage, which would be “out of bounds in normal society, much less when it comes to an interaction with a public figure.”

“We just saw someone attempt to stab Lee Zeldin, and Salman Rushdie forced to fight for his life after being stabbed multiple times,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party. “It’s no surprise that Paul LePage was unhappy with this paid Democratic Party staffer getting so close in such a sneaky manner.”

Savage said LePage has faced more threats of personal harm than most Maine elected officials. LePage also grew up in an abusive home, with a father who used to beat him, before he ran away to live on the streets as a young teen.

“He is under a different level of personal threat than most,” Savage said.

If the tables had been turned, and a Republican tracker had snuck up this close to Gov. Janet Mills, the Democrats would condemn LePage, Savage said. Party official Riley Ploch said that the Maine Republican Party isn’t paying someone to track Mills. Democrats agreed Thursday that seemed to be true, at least for now.

Neither party would identify the tracker, but Democrats confirmed he is on the state party’s payroll.

LePage has lashed out over the practice of tracking before. In 2012, the newly elected Republican governor abruptly canceled an introductory meeting with the leaders of the Democrat-controlled legislature when the Democrats’ tracker continued to film LePage after the campaign was over.


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