In front of a packed house at the Buker Community Center in Augusta, Governor Paul LePage officially kicked off his reelection campaign Tuesday night.
With hundreds of supporters cheering, LePage made his case to the Maine voters, asking them for four more years, saying he’s a man of action not words.
“I came to the governorship from a background in business. I’m not a smooth talking politician,” he said.
The governor described the state’s economy as being “on an upswing” and vowed to keep it going in that direction if he’s reelected.
“I came to Maine to create jobs. With reforms we have created jobs, thousands of jobs. The unemployment rate is down a full point. That equates to 12.5 percent. More than 7,000 jobs have been created since I took office.”
Governor LePage gave everyone a sneak peek of his upcoming campaign strategy. He plans to run on his record. During his speech he touted his welfare reforms, the repayment of nearly a half-billion dollars in back Medicaid debt owed to Maine’s hospitals and his efforts to put an end to domestic violence.
“I pushed through welfare reform. A new five year cap on welfare benefits. A crackdown on fraud, quadrupling the number of fraud cases since I’ve been in office,” LePage boasted. “We changed our bail codes and prison releases and I’m not done. I won’t stop there until we eradicate domestic violence.”
When it comes to the attacks he’s sure to face from his opponents as they try to remind Maine voters about all the inflammatory comments the governor has made during his first term, LePage is likely to fall back on the mantra of the night: “Actions speak louder than words.”
The field is now set in a race for the Blaine House that promises to be one of the most spirited in Maine history. Early polling shows a tight race between Governor LePage and six term Congressman, Democrat Mike Michaud with Independent Eliot Cutler not far off the pace.