One thing was certain, the school superintendent told us. Whoever we chose to succeed him would be strong in the areas in which we believed he was weak. That is the nature of regime change, he said.

We were the search committee for School Administrative District 9 (Mount Blue), and our first task was to meet with Dr. Lawson Rutherford, who was retiring. He had been superintendent from 1987 until 1993.

What Rutherford told us may have been borne out on Tuesday when Maine’s voters chose the 187 people who will lead two branches of the state government for the next two years. They pretty well washed away the eight years between Gov. John Baldacci and Governor-to-be Janet Mills. The Paul LePage years.

As a Republican legislator told me Wednesday morning, “A blue wave swept across Maine, and it’s entirely the fault of (Gov.) Paul LePage.” The numbers suggest that legislator is dead on.

By week’s end, Democrats, whose edge in the state House of Representatives had been three seats, appeared to have won 89 of the 151 seats. And they had turned the state Senate from 18-17 Republican to 21-14 Democrat. Not to mention Democrat Mills as governor. Can you say washout?

Here are some other sidelights to this most involving of election seasons.

Shawn Moody, whom LePage backed tacitly in the Republican primary for governor, seems a decent man with a compelling story. His mother battled mental illness. While in Gorham High School, Moody began an auto body business. He shares with LePage a difficult childhood and an inspiring story of rising from those difficult beginnings.

But he and his backers linked Moody too closely to LePage. Moody never spoke on camera without mentioning that he was a businessman. That immediately brought to mind LePage, who had also run on the idea that only a businessman could fix Augusta.

To pick up moderate-to-conservative voters turned off by LePage (myself included), Moody needed distance from LePage. He might have got it by stressing that he was an entrepreneur who built his business from a spot under a shade tree to 11 shops from York to Augusta. When Moody goes to bed at night, he knows, like any entrepreneur, that everything he has built is at risk. His baby sails or sinks with him. Entrepreneur.

LePage was a corporate manager, perhaps hired to clean house, to tighten the screws on a company, to rechart a company that had lost its way. Every night when LePage went to bed, he knew that the worst that could happen in the morning was he could be fired. He had no skin in the game other than his own ego. Factotum.

Those two sides of business contrast starkly. The entrepreneur (Moody) is almost mythical in the American mind, the manager (LePage) merely a hired gun.

Tattoos may not have been a campaign before. But, early in the campaign, backers of U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who attended Harvard on scholarship during the Vietnam War, ran an ad that seemed to mock his challenger, state Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, for a tattoo on Golden’s right forearm. The attempt was laughable, and was soon withdrawn.

Golden’s tattoos recall his service in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine. Golden left UMF following 9/11 to enlist. On return, he finished a degree in politics and history at Bates, probably every bit as rigorous academically (to some of us, maybe more so) as Harvard. The tattoos didn’t seem to get in the way of his studies.

His tattoos, by the way, put Golden in company with Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, who has a raven tattoo on his left arm. The Huffington Post reports that 20 to 40 percent of U.S. adults have tattoos. No candidate can throw away 20 percent of the vote.

One odd takeaway from the voting in the second U.S. House district. Maine does not require U.S. representatives to live in the district they represent. And more than half the votes were cast for candidates who do not live in the district (46 percent for Poliquin, 6 percent for Tiffany Bond). Poliquin was born in Waterville but lives in Georgetown. He sold his “official” residence in Oakland a year ago. He has an address in Belgrade, a town with hundreds of camps, that may be more of a “crash house” but may also legitimize his tie to the district. Bond lives in Portland and said she would move to the district if she were elected. Guess U-Haul won’t have to reserve that rental truck for her.

You’d think that reporters know how things work. They don’t. Channel 5 (Bangor) reported that a candidate in a two-person race needs 50 percent plus one to win. Not true. She needs more than 50 percent. What if 19 people vote? Fifty percent of 19, plus one, is 10.5. All she needs is more than 50 percent, and the lowest whole number that fits that criterion is 10, which is less than 50 percent plus one. With an odd number of votes, which happens roughly half the time, you can’t get 50 percent plus one.

Oh, yes, perhaps oddest of all. More than 42 percent of voters chose for district attorney (Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties) a candidate for chief prosecuting lawyer who is banned from practicing law. What part of “no” didn’t they understand?

As one wag put it when LePage announced that he was moving to Florida, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” If I were still a Republican, I would say the same thing. It may take a while to fully assess the damage he did to the Republican party in Maine.

Bob Neal voted on Tuesday for a Democrat for governor for the first time. In fact, he voted just about solid D for the first time since leaving Kansas City in 1972.

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