Recently, Paul LePage was jaunting around his second home state of Florida with the state’s unabashedly anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ governor, Ron DeSantis. LePage was invited to the event because DeSantis views LePage as an ally:

DeSantis’ political operation billed the “lightly scheduled” event as a chance to connect his key donors and friendly media figures to Republican governors and candidates who share the Florida governor’s political priorities and support his style of governing.

The joint event is not the first time LePage has made clear that he supports Governor DeSantis and his extreme far-right agenda. Late last year, LePage referred to DeSantis as a “gold standard” governor as DeSantis was pushing a bill to cruelly target Florida’s LGBTQ+ youth population. LePage’s latest show of support for the Florida governor comes as DeSantis is fighting to rip away reproductive freedom in the state, advocating for an abortion ban that does not include exceptions for rape or incest. DeSantis also spent most of the last month in hot water for being the only governor in the nation to refuse to order a supply of COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years old, a move that aligns with LePage’s plan to “let [young children] all have it.”

“It’s bad enough that Paul LePage has insisted on returning to Maine from his retirement in Florida—now he’s making clear that he’s going to bring his pal Ron DeSantis’ disastrous, far-right policy agenda with him,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “From attacking reproductive freedom and LGBTQ+ rights to doing almost nothing to protect his state’s citizens from COVID, Ron DeSantis has inflicted untold pain and suffering on the people of Florida. We can’t let Paul LePage bring that suffering to the Pine Tree state.”