Paul LePage’s daughter among new hires by the Trump campaign

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has added two staffers in Maine as it continues to build out its ground game in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election.

The Republican’s campaign announced Wednesday that it has hired Leland Graves of Bangor as its deputy state director for Maine and Lauren LePage of Waterville as its coalitions director. The two new staffers will work with Trump’s Maine state director, Christie-Lee McNally, who was named to the position a few weeks ago.

“We have assembled a strong team of campaign staffers that is committed to building the grassroots enthusiasm that we saw in the primary that will turn out the votes that we need to win Maine in November,” said McNally in a written statement. “The Trump-Pence Maine team and the Maine GOP will be working with volunteers all across Maine to take Mr. Trump’s message directly to all Mainers.”

Graves is a graduate of the University of Maine who has worked on campaigns for state Senate Republicans. In 2015, he was named to the Maine Republican Party’s “40 under 40” list of up-and-comers.

LePage, daughter of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, is a third-year law student at the University of Maine School of Law and the former director of Maine People Before Politics, a political advocacy group that worked to advance her father’s agenda. She has also been an employee in the governor’s office, including services as assistant to the chief of staff.

Paul LePage has become an ardent supporter of Trump, but only after his initial choices, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, pulled out of the competition to become the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump is in the midst of building up his state staff nationwide amid consternation from some Republicans that the hires, along with the launch of a television ad campaign, should have happened months ago. The campaign doubled its spending in July but still lags far behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s initial state-level hirings were confined to battleground states. The Maine hires indicate that Trump is hopeful to win at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes.

Christopher Cousins

About 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.