The Nation: Architect of the Biggest Upset

Nov. 5, an exuberant James Longley proclaimed that evening, had been "the best day of my life." But the next day was even better. Within 24 hours, the 50-year-old insurance executive, who in winning the governorship of Maine became the first independent to capture a statehouse since 1937, found himself a national celebrity.

Dozens of reporters invaded his modest ranch house in Auburn. Telegrams from Senators, Representatives and ordinary citizens came in by the hundreds. One man from Keokuk, Iowa, called to say that Longley had given him new inspiration to run as an...

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