Paul LePage was born in Lewiston, Maine, and now lives in Waterville. He is the oldest son of 18 children in what he has described as an impoverished and dysfunctional family. He left home at the age of 11 and lived on the streets of Lewiston until two families took him in. He was brought up speaking French.
LePage earned a bachelor's degree from Husson University and a master's in business administration from the University of Maine.
LePage held positions at several wood-products and paper companies before being hired in 1996 as general manager of Marden's, a popular salvage-goods retail chain in Maine. He headed a private consultant firm providing executive services to banks, law firms and other clients.
He served on the Waterville City Council and was elected mayor in 2003. He was elected the governor of Maine in 2010.
LePage and his wife, Ann, have five children, including one they adopted.
Paul LePage, once considered a long shot for state government's highest office, was elected governor of Maine in 2010.
During his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he had only promises and his record as a fiscally responsible Waterville mayor to point to. He drew the support of the tea party crowd, proudly showcasing his conservative fiscal credentials favoring smaller government and less spending.
Even to his own surprise, LePage won a seven-way June 2010 Republican primary, then in November won a five-way general election showdown between himself, a Democrat and three independent candidates.
After his election, LePage followed through on his campaign message of reducing government and making business feel more welcome in the state.
His budget has reflected his belief that Maine spends too much for social welfare programs, and he led efforts to remove or scale back state business regulations.
With the help of a GOP-controlled Legislature, he followed through on a campaign promise to establish charter schools. Prompted by his own experiences as a childhood victim of domestic abuse, he also pushed through laws to crack down on that crime.
Along the way, LePage has committed a string of verbal gaffes, including saying President Barack Obama can "go to hell." He said the NAACP can "kiss my butt" when the civil rights group suggested he attend a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
LePage drew national attention in 2011 by ordering the removal of a mural depicting the state's labor history, including images of worker strikes and "Rosie the Riveter," from the state Labor Department lobby. His administration said the mural was removed and departmental conference rooms that had carried the names of labor organizers, including Cesar Chavez, were renamed because they weren't in keeping with the department's pro-business goals. Additionally, in April 2012 he caused a furor by comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo. He apologized for that statement.
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Recent winning percentages for office currently held: 38% (2010).
(Last updated by Glenn Adams on July 31, 2012.)