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Why is Maine's first lady waiting tables?
03:11 - Source: WGME

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Ann LePage, the wife of the flamboyant Maine governor, is looking for a little extra money this summer

LePage has found a part-time gig in order to buy a new car: waitressing at a local seafood joint

Washington CNN  — 

Ann LePage, the wife of flamboyant Maine governor Paul LePage, is looking for a little extra money this summer.

So just like teenagers across the country, LePage has found a part-time gig that might make a dream car finally within reach: waitressing at a local seafood joint.

Every Monday, Thursday and Friday at lunchtime, in comes the wife of the voluble Donald Trump endorser to the Boothbay Harbor waterfront pub, McSeagull’s. She bounces between a half-dozen tables, taking orders for the Clam Chowder or the signature Lobster & Chicken Bomb, where $30 gets you lobster alfredo over pan-breaded, pan-fried chicken breast.

And then when table traffic gets quiet, she’ll fetch her own personal wash bucket — Ann’s Pail, the black bucket reads in silver permanent marker — to abide by McSeagull’s informal motto: “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean,” Jackie Barnicoat, McSeagull’s general manager, told CNN.

“It’s not just all fun and games,” Barnicoat said. “There’s a lot of grueling side work that comes with it and she doesn’t stop.”

LePage’s summer job, earlier reported by and The Associated Press, brings her to this tourist town a few times a week, and Barnicoat says she’s already asking for double shifts after just a few weeks on the job. Efforts by CNN to reach LePage this weekend were unsuccessful.

Customers don’t always recognize LePage, who has been first lady for five years. Others say that she looks familiar, but can’t quite place their waitress at the governor’s mansion.

She has her daughter to thank. It is Lauren LePage — who served dishes at McSeagull’s last year, but has been sidelined this summer to an internship in Bangor — who told Barnicoat that her mom “really wants to try out.” Barnicoat was all ears, even though Ann LePage didn’t have any experience.

“We didn’t really tell anybody who she was,” the general manager said. “She is the governor’s wife, but she has a lot of fans in this state.”

Why’s she doing it? To get a new Toyota RAV4, the SUV that she has always wanted, according to Barnicoat. The governor makes about $70,000 a year, a figure that prompted Paul LePage this year to try (unsuccessfully) to double the governor’s pay, starting in 2019, after his term ends. LePage is currently the most modestly paid governor in the country.

And it’s a win-win for Barnicoat as well, who has joked with the first lady that she no longer needs a marketing budget this year thanks to her new star power.

“I am not disappointed that I hired her,” Barnicoat said. “I wish they could all be like her.”