Will ‘welfare for politicians’ or price of tea in China top LePage agenda tonight?

Good morning, folks. It’s the day after the election and if you weren’t paying attention to the results last night, you must be from some planet across the galaxy and I don’t know you.

Just kidding. I totally understand if you weren’t interested, especially since as ballots go, yesterday’s had very little on it compared to most years. But it’s my job to care and as the life of a political reporter goes, watching the votes be counted on issues you’ve been writing about for months or years is — I sort of can’t believe I’m writing this — “fun.”

Anyhow, if you want to see yesterday’s election results — including every local question for which towns have sent their results to the Bangor Daily News — click here or check out the reading list below. There are hundreds of candidates for mayor, city councils, boards of selectmen and school board members either celebrating or hanging their heads this morning all over Maine.

In Lewiston, neither the incumbent, Robert Macdonald, or his challenger, Ben Chin, received 50 percent of the vote so you’ll be reading and hearing about that one until the runoff election on Dec. 8.

There were also special elections for two seats in the Maine House of Representatives. Preliminary results show both seats, formerly held by Democrats, went to the Republican candidates, but one of those might not be over, either. Democrats have already signaled that they might call for a recount in the Sanford-area District 19 race. Preliminary results — which means the vote tallies have not been certified by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap — show Republican Matthew Harrington fending off Democrat Jean Noon by 36 votes, 699 to 663. Independent Victor DiGregorio brought in 102 votes in that race.

That’s enough summarizing for now. On to other matters, such as another cup of coffee. Here’s today’s delightful soundtrack, courtesy of Frank Sinatra. Trust me, it’ll be the best 2 minutes and 29 seconds of your morning. — Christopher Cousins

LePage should be interesting tonight in Rockland town hall

Gov. Paul LePage will host a town hall meeting beginning at 6 p.m. today at Rockland City Hall. This is the latest of several public forums the governor has held across Maine in recent weeks, which he has used to promote his agenda of lowering the state’s income tax and enacting stricter welfare regulations. He and the Maine Republican Party are trying to force those issues onto next November’s statewide ballot (which will be deeply stacked with state and national elections and referendums. I want a third cup of coffee just thinking about it.)

In addition to the familiar talking points, I expect some news out of tonight’s forum. For one, it’s likely that the governor will discuss the passage of the statewide Question 1, a revamp of Maine’s public campaign financing system of which LePage has been a leading critic.

More interesting will be whatever LePage has to say about his recent trade mission to China and Japan. We can also expect him to discuss his energy goals, as he often does, as he gears up to share a stage on Nov. 12 and 13 in Boston with Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec. The theme of that conference is “New England-Canada Energy: The Economic Impact of Integrating Energy Infrastructure in a High-Cost Region.”

Watch the bangordailynews.com for coverage of tonight’s event. — Christopher Cousins 

Reading list

Perfect prognostication

Scott Thistle, my pal and political reporter for the Sun Journal, isn’t shy about making predictions, even when the election is razor-close. Or in this case, razor-far.

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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.