Paul LePage, Maine’s governor, in the foreground, with Maine’s education commissioner, Stephen Bowen, behind him. (Flickr / CC 2.0)

After Maine Rep. Drew Gattine charged Gov. Paul LePage with making racially insensitive comments, LePage left a vulgar, raging voicemail on the lawmaker’s phone Thursday. Camila Domonoske of NPR reports:

The hostile remarks follow — and are directly linked to — a series of widely-criticized remarks the Republican governor made on race. …

LePage said he kept a binder full of mugshots of people arrested for drug dealing in Maine — and he claimed more than 90 percent of all the photos in his “book” were of black or Hispanic people from Connecticut or New York.

When [a] resident suggested that the racial makeup LePage described might be the result of racial profiling by police, the governor added that there are also “a whole lot of white girls” in his binder — “white Maine girls,” he clarified …

On Thursday, Gattine, a Democratic state representative, told a reporter with TV station WMTW that the governor’s racially charged comments weren’t helpful in battling drug addiction.

The same reporter, David Charns, asked the governor to respond to those remarks. Along the way, Charns said on Twitter, LePage got the impression that Gattine had called him racist.

The voicemail, Domonoske notes, was originally reported by the Portland Press Herald, which also writes that LePage “said he wished he and [Gattine] could engage in an armed duel to settle the matter.”

This conflict comes during a week when presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are trading accusations of racism.

NPR provides this account of the voicemail, edited for obscenities:

“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” it began. “”I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c********r” — a vulgarity referencing fellatio.

“I want you to prove I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son of a bitch, socialist c********r,” he continued, using the same expletive, ” … I am after you.”

Listen to the original, unedited voicemail below.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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