The Maine Department of Health and Human Services may be down a couple of epidemiologists in its disease-control unit, but don’t worry, not all the personnel news from DHHS is bad.

As of last week, the department has taken on a second official spokesman. John Martins, a former newspaper editor and holdover from the first LePage administration, has been moved to a very important-sounding new position, “public health information officer and director of internal and program communications.”

I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot from him.

He will be assisted by a new director of media and policy research named David Sorensen.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you don’t spend much time on Twitter.

Sorensen is a Republican political operative known for hitting hard and hitting fast on social media, somone with limitless time and energy to argue electronically.

He got his start with the Charlie Summers U.S. Senate Campaign, getting attention for publicly raising the question of whether independent Angus King had illegally used Google technology in a commercial without paying for it. (Answer: He did not.)

Then Sorensen went to work for House Republican leader Ken Fredette, where Sorensen showed that he could excel in communications defense as well as offense by trimming one of his boss’ regrettable observations (that his “man brain” told him Medicaid expansion would be a bad idea) from an article on Wikipedia.

And then he went to work for the Maine Republican Party, where chairman Rick Bennett could keep his starched cuffs clean while courting the Bush ’41 crowd, while Sorensen landed body shots. Most notably, he was the man with the presense of mind and absense of conscience to send out an email blast with this headline “Michaud suggests Sen. Collins performs graphic sexual acts; Maine GOP condemns.”

You may remember the one-day controversy: A video by independent producer Alex Steed showed pictures of Democrat Mike Michaud with music from the Maine rapper Spose. In the background you hear Spose rhyming “I’m the king of Maine … I’ve got Susan Collins giving everyone brain,” which Sorensen had the hip-hop IQ to know was a reference to oral sex.

Michaud, of course, had nothing to do with the video so he had suggested nothing vile about Collins. Within a couple of days Bennett apologized for the headline. But by then the damage was done and everyone had moved on.

What Sorensen is doing as the mouthpiece of the state government’s biggest department is a matter of speculation.

It could be a sign that Commissioner Mary Mayhew is getting ready for a more aggressive effort to attack the public service programs she is supposed to be administering. For fans of “The Godfather” movies, Martins was not “a war-time consigliere” so he got “the ride to the airport.”

Or there may be a clue to Sorensen’s new role in this quote he gave to reporters as he was leaving the Republican Party job: “Whatever I do, I want to help get the conservative message out: Help Republicans win and help reform government.”

What Republicans might he helping win here? Is this the start of Mayhew’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign? Why not? We haven’t had a gubernatorial campaign for a couple of weeks now, and governing is the boring part of government.

It’s worth noting that Sorensen did not say, “I want to do whatever I can to help people in need get health care, food and shelter,” or whatever the DHHS mission statement is. His job is to win.

Sorensen is not the first campaign operative to find a cushy government job – he’s not even the first anti-government operative to work for government. But it’s hard to recall anyone this partisan being in charge of information emanating from an agency that is supposed to work for everyone.

It’s one thing to say that his political enemies think Mike Michaud is a lying, deceitful, dishonest individual. We know how to put that in context.

But how are we supposed to react when a political spinmeister warns us about a blood bank shortage or flu outbreak. How are we supposed to put that in context? Is that what they are keeping the other guy around for?

Or maybe this all is a huge career makeover for Sorensen, and he will be trading his hit-man image for one of a thoughtful policy analyst.

It’s too early to know yet, but we can be sure that whatever he’s up to we’ll know all about it, especially if we follow him on Twitter.