NEWPORT – Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage won at least one more vote, and probably a few others, when he visited a former employer Thursday.

At Vic Firth Manufacturing on High Street — the drumstick production facility where LePage was vice president from 1994 to 1996 — the candidate spoke to about 100 workers in the break room.

As they entered the room just before noon, several employees greeted LePage with, “How ya doing, governor?” and “Good morning, governor.”

The workers appeared receptive to LePage’s message of fiscal discipline, job creation and tax reduction.

Delaris Flood of Newport, the facility’s production manager, said she has been “on the fence” regarding the governor’s race. But after hearing LePage speak, Flood said she’s now “leaning” toward LePage.

By the way: LePage promoted her to her current job in 1996.

“The buzz out on the floor is: It went well,” Flood said. “I’m sure he picked up a few votes.”

Bruce Nichols of Hartland said he wasn’t totally sold. “I liked what he was saying, but everyone says they want more jobs,” he said.

LePage’s day of campaigning began with a radio interview at 7:15 a.m. with Tonya Verzoni of Mix 107.9; a radio interview at 7:34 a.m. with George Hale and Ric Tyler from the Voice of Maine on 101.3 Augusta and 103.9 Bangor; and an 8 a.m. radio interview with WNSX of Ellsworth.

Then, LePage went to City Hall in Waterville to handle paperwork and other business as mayor. After his stop at Vic Firth in Newport, LePage said he was heading to Bangor to record a new radio ad in French, visit workers at Timberland Trucking in Medway and Millinocket, then make a final stop in Houlton.

At the plant in Newport, which also makes pepper mills and rolling pins, LePage was greeted by the man who bought the factory in 1994 and still owns it: Vic Firth.

Firth told the assembled workers that LePage arrived during “turbulent times” for the factory. LePage got the business back on track, he said. “The volume of sticks went up really quickly.”

Mike Gault, vice president of manufacturing, said the plant has about 150 employees on two shifts and produces more than 7 million pairs of drumsticks per year, which distributors sell around the world.

LePage told the workers that Vic Firth is exactly the kind of business Maine needs.

He repeated his campaign’s proposals: reducing “frivolous” regulations; creating a five-tier system for welfare to wean people off assistance; promoting new jobs in forestry, agriculture, fishing and high-tech mills; reducing energy costs through hydro, natural gas and nuclear; expanding vocational and trades training in high schools; and reducing the number of state workers so government is more efficient and less costly.

LePage also played to the crowd, mentioning that the state income tax now kicks in at $18,500 of annual income. As governor, he said, he would “quickly” eliminate a state income tax on people who earn less than $30,000 per year.

“That’s all of us,” one worker whispered to another.

After his talk, LePage toured the plant with Firth and Gault, and was given a complimentary Mario Batali peppermill in plastic wrap.

During his tour, some workers stopped and asked LePage questions or asked him to re-explain a proposal. One woman asked how he would vote on Question 1, the referendum on a casino in Oxford County.

LePage said he’s “neutral” and will leave it up to the people to decide. “I don’t gamble,” he said, smiling as he walked away.