Trump Really Wants Maine Gov. LePage to Run for U.S. Senate

December 7, 2017

President Donald Trump is pushing Maine Gov. Paul LePage to run against U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018, according to White House advisers.

Trump has told advisers he plans to call LePage, the bombastic Republican governor who endorsed him in February 2016, and ask him to jump in against King — and tell LePage he would endorse him. King is an independent former two-term governor who caucuses with Democrats.

White House officials have been in touch with LePage’s political team in recent weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. LePage toyed with the idea of challenging King for the better part of two years before ruling out a run in May. State Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn is the only Republican running against King now.

But LePage came up again Tuesday at a White House meeting on Senate candidates, as Trump and his team went through a list of states and races — including Arizona, Missouri and Maine — the officials said, looking at individual candidates and poll numbers and what candidates could get in the races.