The two-term Republican governor has launched a website with a countdown clock that indicates a formal announcement may be made Monday.
Former Republican Governor Paul LePage formally registered as a candidate for Maine governor Thursday, confirming speculation he would attempt to unseat Democratic Gov. Janet Mills in 2022.
LePage, a former Waterville mayor who served as governor from 2011 to 2019, has launched a website with a countdown clock indicating a public announcement for Monday. His campaign also registered with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, which tracks the campaign finances of candidates for state and county office.
LePage, who was term-limited by the state’s Constitution from seeking a third consecutive term, promised to leave Maine if Mills won election – which he did when he established residency in Florida. But he returned to Maine in July 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, re-establishing Maine residency in Edgecomb.
Governor Mills has not made a formal announcement about her plans for 2022, but she has raised more than $13,000 in campaign contributions so far, according to the ethics commission. Other candidates registered in the election for governor are Michael T. Barden, a Green Independent; Michael Stuart Heath, a Republican; and Martin J. Vachon, also a Republican.
Voters will use Maine’s ranked-choice voting law to rank candidates in the 2022 primary elections, but the law does not apply to general election races for governor or the Legislature.