I’m not the first to say this, but I’ll say it now: If they aren’t already, Maine Democrats should be doing all they can to get Stephen King to run for office.

I’d understand if he didn’t want to: The Bangor author’s net worth has been pegged as high as $400 million and he has churned out books at a yearly pace since 2000, with another expected this year.

But he’s responded more effectively to an attack from Republican Gov. Paul LePage than other prominent Maine Democrats have lately. After LePage said erroneously in a radio address that King — who lives part-time in Florida — didn’t pay income taxes in Maine, the author shot back with a statement saying the governor “is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green.” LePage then changed the address.

“We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much. State taxes pay for state services. There’s just no way around it,” King said. “Governor LePage needs to remember there ain’t no free lunch.”

King later took to Twitter, saying in a post late Thursday that LePage ought to “man up and apologize.”

King’s no politician, but he is a politically active Democrat: In 2011, he appeared at a Florida rally where he showed a populist streak, calling LePage a “stone-brain.” King also said he’d be happy to pay 50 percent in income taxes instead of the 28 percent he was paying then.


He also hasn’t polled badly. Believe it or not, Public Policy Polling tested his favorability among Maine voters in 2013. King handily lost a hypothetical matchup with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican. However, 45 percent of the people polled had a favorable opinion of him. That lagged behind Collins’ mark of 57 percent, but only 23 percent of those polled had an unfavorable opinion of King to Collins’ 31 percent.

Voters even liked him more than a sitting congresswoman: Just 40 percent of people polled had a favorable impression of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st District. She’s now in her fourth term.

King could have some weaknesses: He has written an essay supporting gun control, which has been a non-starter in Maine. And, after all, is Maine a great place for a wealthy person to enter politics in a prominent position?

You could ask U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican businessman who entered politics in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Poliquin went on to become state treasurer and happens to be in Congress now, representing the 2nd District. In the same poll that measured King’s favorability, Poliquin was favored by just 15 percent of people.

Will King run for office? Almost certainly not. He’s 67 years old and raking in money. But it’s an interesting thought.

It would give Maine Democrats some needed momentum after a bad 2014. It would dominate national media. And polling, albeit limited, shows that King may not start in such a bad position with the electorate.