Maine Gov. Paul LePage, facing calls from all sides for his resignation, remains defiant, saying on Wednesday that he is not stepping down from office, The Boston Globe reports.
Patience with the governor is running thin, even with fellow Republicans in the state legislature. LePage has been under fire for racist remarks about Black and Hispanic men from New York City and Connecticut trafficking illegal drugs into his state and impregnating young White girls.
He also recorded a profanity-laced rant on the voicemail of Democratic state Rep. Drew Gattine, whom the governor accused of calling him a racist. The two men met on Wednesday for a face-to-face talk that many hoped would calm the storm. But the governor emerged from the meeting with Gattine combative, and declared that he will not resign, according to The Globe.
On Tuesday night, hundreds rallied against LePage at the State House. The protesters gathered for what they called an SOS, or Save our State, demonstration, WCSH-TV reported. They want the governor to either resign or get treatment.
“I find it disturbing how much bad press Maine has gotten due to the leadership. It’s been going on for six and a half years, and enough is enough,” Joanne Rosenthal told WCSH.
Maine residents have held a number of demonstrations against their governor over the past year, such as this silent protest in May by college students who said they’re ashamed of LePage’s racist comments.
WCSH said that Betsy Sweet, who organized Tuesday’s protest in the state’s capital, is planning the next phase of the movement: take the protesters’ demands to state lawmakers.
The Globe reported that LePage declined to seek “professional help,” but would instead get “spiritual guidance” with his family.
LePage declared: “I’m not an alcoholic and I’m not a drug addict and I don’t have mental issues. What I have is a backbone, and I want to move Maine forward.”
He also vowed not to speak anymore with the media, which he accused of stirring controversies against him, in part, through “gotcha moments.”