Washington Post calls for Gov. Paul LePage to resign before Maine becomes a ‘hotbed of hatred’
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (screen grab)

The Washington Post on Wednesday called on Maine Governor Paul LePage to resign, following a series of incidents in which the two-term Republican made racially charged statements and threatened a Democratic lawmaker in an obscenity-laden e-mail.

LePage, whose term extends through 2018, last month lashed out at a state lawmaker who criticized the governor's comments blaming black and Hispanic people from out of state for the heroin trade in Maine.

In an editorial titled "Maine's unhinged governor," the newspaper wrote "LePage threatens to remake his state's image from a vacation paradise of surreal natural beauty to a hotbed of hatred."

LePage initially told reporters he had collected a three-ring binder on people arrested for trafficking drugs in the state and that 90 percent of the people in it were black or Hispanic. The governor released the binder this week and a review by local media found that closer to one in three arrestees in it matched LePage's description.

Maine legislative leaders last month briefly considered convening a special session last month to reprimand LePage for the outburst, but the effort collapsed with the two parties unable to agree on whether they merely wanted to censure him or pursue impeachment.

A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)