Maine Gov. Paul LePage is so angry at Democrats for rejecting one of his nominees that he canceled the swearing-in ceremony for a newly elected senator.
The Republican governor on Friday refused to sign a proclamation certifying the result of Tuesday's special election.
The election was won by Democrat Susan Deschambault, of Biddeford. She arrived at the Maine Statehouse in Augusta on Friday for a scheduled ceremony at LePage's office. But she was told it had been canceled.
LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett says the governor canceled the event in response to a party-line vote Thursday in the Legislature's labor committee, which turned down LePage's pick for the unemployment insurance commission. Bennett said Democrats treated the nominee, Steven Webster, "despicably."
Phil Bartlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, said LePage is disregarding the will of voters.
"Once again, the governor decides to throw a temper tantrum and refuse to do his job because he did not get his way," Bartlett said.
Bennett said LePage is not refusing to swear-in Deschamault. Maine law gives the governor five business days to certify the results of an election, she said, and LePage doesn't want to "prematurely" cut off the unsuccessful candidate's statutory right to request a recount.
It was not a tight race. Deschambault beat her Republican opponent Stephen Martin by a margin of 16 percentage points.
© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.