It’s never wise to draw a sweeping conclusion from a small statistical sample, but something worth noting happened in last week’s special election in Lincoln County.

Well-known incumbent Republican state Rep. Dana Dow was defeated by Democrat Chris Johnson in the race to replace District 20 Sen. David Trahan, a Republican who resigned to head the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Local elections usually are decided on local issues and name recognition.

Republican Party state chairman Charlie Webster (who is under fire for his party’s presidential preference vote snafu) said Johnson had simply outworked Dow, even though Dow outspent his opponent by a 4-1 ratio.

Dow, however, drew a different conclusion about his defeat. He thinks the race was “a referendum on the second floor,” referring to the part of the State House where Gov. Paul LePage has his office.

Whether Dow is right can’t be known, but he’s probably not the only Republican who holds that opinion. How that affects votes in the Legislature this election year will be one of the most interesting stories of the session.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.