Governor Paul LePage has asked Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and state Treasurer Terry Hayes to leave office either by resignation or a leave of absence.
Both Mills, a Democrat, and Hayes, an independent, are running to replace LePage when he leaves office. Via separate letters delivered on Monday, LePage cited campaigning as the reason they should step down, to “avoid any potential conflict of interest.”
LePage and Mills have openly clashed in recent years.
The governor took a jab at Mills, claiming she is “clearly not doing the job as attorney general for the people of Maine,” he wrote in his letter to her. “For example, you have refused to represent the Executive Branch in several legal matters of vital importance to the Maine people, and it appears you are using your office as a campaign headquarters.”
Mills’ campaign released a statement:
“Of course Governor LePage would want Janet out of the way. She has successfully stood up to him and for the interests of Maine people and he doesn’t like it. But the governor would better serve Maine people by spending less time trying to play attack dog for his candidate Shawn Moody.”
No word yet from the Hayes campaign. The other two candidates running for governor are Republican businessman Shawn Moody and economic development consultant Alan Caron. Caron’s campaign released a statement as well:
“Terry Hayes and Janet Mills have the right to run for office, and they can well-manage their jobs and be candidates at the same time.”
LePage served as the mayor of Waterville, Maine during his first run as a gubernatorial candidate in 2010.
And in 2012, when running for a seat in the United States Senate, Republican Charlie Summers continued to serve as secretary of state.