Maine Gov. Paul LePage greets employees of Simones Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston during a campaign stop involving Lewiston’s mayoral on Dec. 7, 2017. Credit: Christopher Cousins

Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that despite a report this week by the Washington Post, he will not run for the U.S. Senate against independent incumbent Angus King.

During a campaign stop at Simones Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston on behalf of Lewiston mayoral candidate Shane Bouchard, LePage called the Washington Post’s report “fake news” and “vile” for the way it described him.

[Trump wants LePage to challenge King in Maine Senate race]

“I have not been approached by anyone,” said LePage of the reports that advisers to President Donald Trump were trying to convince him to run against King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. “If I was considering running, I would discuss it with my family first and you would be the last to know.”

LePage has fueled speculation that he would oppose King in several public statements but said in May through a spokesman that he had decided against a run. Wednesday’s Washington Post story cited two anonymous sources inside the White House.

“A man has to know his limitations,” said LePage. “I’m a doer and the Senate does nothing.”

[Ann LePage: Bannon asked me to ‘pray about’ 2018 run against Angus King]

LePage dodged a question about whether his wife, Ann LePage, who has also been rumored as a possible Trump-backed Republican candidate against King, would enter the race.

“I like being married to her and we’re not going to talk about it anymore,” said LePage.

State Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn is the only declared Republican challenger to King at this time.

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Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.