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LePage's future plans: Move to Florida, take teaching job

LePage's future plans: Move to Florida, take teaching job AUGUSTA â€" Gov. Paul LePage said Monday that he plans to move to Florida...

LePage's future plans: Move to Florida, take teaching job

AUGUSTA â€" Gov. Paul LePage said Monday that he plans to move to Florida for tax reasons and teach at a university there regardless of who Mainers elect to succeed him.

“I’ll be a resident of Florida if Janet Mills wins, I can promise you that,” LePage, referring to the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, said with a smile one day before Maine voters head to the polls.

“I’ll also be in Florida if Shawn Moody wins because I am going to retire and go to Florida,” he said. “I am done with politics. I have done my eight years. It’s time for somebody else.”

LePage answered questions from reporters during a Monday morning press conference to support the campaign of Eric Brakey, the Republican challenging independent U.S. Sen. Angus King. A Republican, LePage is also backing Moody â€" a Republican from Gorham who founded a successful chain of auto body repair shops â€" in the three-person race for governor between Moody, Mills and independent Terry Hayes.

Now in the final two months of his eight years in the governor’s mansion, LePage said he was “talking to a couple of universities” about teaching in Florida from September through April, but he would not identify the schools. LePage and his wife, Ann, already own a house in Florida and often vacation there. He said he would be in Maine from April to September.

Asked where he would maintain his legal residency, LePage replied Florida.

“I’ll tell you very, very simply: I have a house in Florida. I will pay no income tax and the house in Florida’s property taxes are $2,000 less than we were paying in Boothbay,” LePage said. “At my age, why wouldn’t you conserve your resources and spend it on family (rather) than spend it on taxes?”

While several recent polls suggest Mills â€" the state’s attorney general â€" has opened a lead over Moody, many observers believe the race to succeed LePage will be a close one.

Asked whether he had any regrets from his time in office, LePage said he wished had could have done more to lower energy costs and income taxes in Maine. The Legislature lowered Maine’s income taxes twice during LePage’s tenure, however he has advocated for following the model of states such as Florida and New Hampshire, which have eliminated the income tax altogether.

“If the people of Maine elect Janet Mills, then the people of Maine have spoken and she will be the governor. And I wish her very well,” LePage said. “If Shawn Moody wins â€" who I hope wins â€" I wish him very well. And . . . if Terry Hayes should pull a Jim Longley, like they did in the ’70s, I would wish her well. She is a very fine woman.”

Longley, of Lewiston, won the 1974 election to become Maine’s first independent governor, serving one term.

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