Former Republican Maine Governor Paul LePage has taken the first step to register as a candidate for governor in 2022.

The 72-year-old LePage registered Thursday with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, according to the Kennebec Journal. He would still need to file paperwork with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office and gather the required signatures in order to appear on the November 2022 ballot.

LePage was elected governor of Maine in 2010 with less than 38% of the vote in a three-way race. He was re-elected in 2014 with a 4 percentage point edge over Democrat Mike Michaud. LePage was prevented from running for a third consecutive term in 2018 due to term limits. He has hinted several times that he would challenge Democratic Governor Janet Mills.

LePage has launched a campaign website which points toward a public announcement concerning his candidacy on Monday, July 5th.

After leaving office in 2019, LePage moved to Florida but re-established Maine residency last July  in the town of Edgecomb. He has been a vocal critic of Democratic Gov. Mills and has appeared on right-leaning radio talk shows calling for her to resign.

Two other Republicans, Michael Heath and Martin Vachon, have already registered to campaign for governor.  Janet Mills has not officially announced whether she will run for re-election.

The advent of ranked choice voting is likely to play a role in the 2022 gubernatorial election as Maine often fields strong third-party candidates. Such was the case in 2010 when LePage beat out Independent Eliot Cutler by a slim margin.

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