In Greene, Kathleen Nation didn’t flinch when she learned that nearly 70 percent of voters in the town where she waits on tables had voted for Paul LePage.

“I hear it every morning,” said Nation, filling a coffee mug at Hurricane’s Cafe & Deli on U.S. Route 202. “People are angry. They’re worried about where their money is going.”

Voters in Greene spoke with as much unity as voters in any town in Maine. Of the 2,165 Greene voters who cast ballots for governor on Tuesday, 1,497 of them voted for LePage. At 69.1 percent, that makes Greene the beating heart of LePage country.

Yet the number of Democrats and Republicans in town is just about even. Of the town’s 3,138 registered voters, 855 are enrolled as Democrats and 850 as Republicans. Their recent voting history doesn’t reveal any obvious trends. They chose LePage almost 2-to-1 over independent Eliot Cutler in 2010, but Mitt Romney barely edged Barack Obama for president in 2012.

People who voted for LePage on Tuesday supported him because of his record, said Susan Graham, a Democrat who voted for the incumbent Republican governor. She was among those getting her coffee mug refilled at Hurricane’s on Thursday morning.

“Why did we vote for LePage? Because things have been accomplished. Debts have been paid, and he’s getting the welfare system under control. He has the gumption to do it. Not that I agree with everything he says, but things get done,” Graham said.

“People are tired of listening to a bunch of political bloviators who get nothing done,” echoed Ron Miller, who operates a barbershop across the street from Hurricane’s. A self-described moderate Republican, he voted for LePage because “I want things done.”

Greene is a working-class community in Androscoggin County. It shares a border with Lewiston, and its defining feature is U.S. Route 202, which thunders through the middle of town. The handful of businesses in Greene operate in clusters along U.S. 202. There are two gas stations, a few used-car dealers, a locally owned IGA, a hardware store, beauty salon, barbershop and restaurant, among other businesses.

Most of the 4,350 residents with jobs leave town to make a living, Town Manager Charles Noonan said. Some drive to Lewiston or Auburn for work, others travel to Augusta. A few make the hourlong commute to Portland.

The largest employer is the regional school district, School Administrative District 52, which is headquartered nearby in Turner and operates an elementary school in Greene.

Greene prides itself on low taxes and slow growth, Noonan said. The tax rate of $13.51 per $1,000 of property valuation is steady, and voters generally don’t support projects that add debt. Greene is conservative in its fiscal affairs but otherwise not notably political, Noonan said.

“We’d rather pay for things as we go,” he said. “When we built the new Town Office, we paid cash for that. We save our money, and I think people respect that. We try not to spend more than we have. That’s the way the town operates, and I think that’s how people feel the state should operate.”

Most likely, LePage tapped into that sentiment, Noonan said. His message crossed party lines.

Brady Albert, whose family owns A&A Hardware, described Greene as a blunt town. Most people know it from driving through on U.S. 202. What you see is what you get, Albert said.

People are busy and hardworking, and they generally mind their own business. They appreciate straight-talking people, and LePage’s direct demeanor and salty language resonate with them, he said.

As he spoke, Albert rang up a sale of the bargain bible Uncle Henry’s, for which Norman Tancrel handed over $2.11 in exact-change cash.

“He’s got a lot of (guts), and he’s not scared to show it,” Tancrel said of LePage. “That’s why I voted for him.”

Just behind Tancrel, Mike Randolph expressed surprise at LePage’s margin of victory. He expected a much closer race. “I just thought his demeanor and attitude would work against him,” said Randolph, who was among the 117 Greene residents who voted for Cutler.

Jean Provost voted for the Democrat, Mike Michaud. A recently retired barber, Provost doesn’t understand why his neighbors voted for LePage, who projected an image of red-faced anger. Most people he knows in Greene are content, Provost said. “They are making out all right,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t know what swung them over to LePage. But everywhere I went, it was, ‘LePage! LePage! LePage!’ “

The level of support for LePage felt intimidating, he said. He had planned to put Michaud signs on his property but decided against it when he detected a wave of support for LePage. “I didn’t want to stir anything, so I didn’t put anything up,” he said.

He laughed at his decision. Disagreements about politics are common in big cities and small towns alike. The nice thing about living in Greene, he said, is that people don’t hold grudges. A political disagreement won’t end a friendship here, he said.

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