AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci congratulated Waterville Mayor Paul LePage for his election as governor, and the Maine Republican Party for significant gains in the Maine House and Senate.

In his weekly radio address, the Democratic governor also tipped his hat to all of the candidates in Tuesday’s election, saying it takes a lot of courage to run for office and risk the judgment of your community.

Baldacci observed that just two years ago, pundits were wondering if the Republican Party had become a permanent minority or limited to just a regional influence. But he says today, “the shoe’s on the other foot.”

In the Republican response, outgoing state Rep. Josh Tardy of Newport says his party is “deeply honored and humbled” by the Election Day triumph that gave the GOP the governorship and both legislative chambers for the first time in decades.

Tardy says Republicans come to power at a very challenging time.