Bill Nemitz and Greg Kesich are journalists who do not use innuendo and half-truths when writing for this newspaper.

Nemitz’s reporting on the macho gun packers was honest and factual, as was Kesich’s on the Maine Republicans and the Tea Partiers at their convention in Portland. That being said, I am not a party hack who believes in the old political adage “my party right or wrong.”

That is why I changed my party registration from Democrat to Republican this year to enable me to vote for Peter Mills in the upcoming primary election and in the November gubernatorial election.

This year Republicans have a chance to overcome their humiliating defeat in the last race for governor when Chandler Woodcock went down in flames with only 30 percent of the vote.

I feel that Peter Mills is the best candidate out of the many who are running thus far. He is calm, deliberate and open to compromise. To many of the hard-core right-wing Republicans he is considered a moderate, a dirty word to some of those who backed Woodcock in the last election.

Today, more than ever, civil discourse is needed in politics. Peter Mills is a man of principles who has followed this code of conduct for the many years he has served as a member of the Maine Legislature. He should be our next governor.

Bob Roffler

North Yarmouth

 

I have known Steve Rowe for 23 years. Our children grew up together and we were next-door neighbors.

There is no better way to get to know the substance of a man than to learn how he views family and community. Steve is smart, generous and hardworking, an extremely caring husband, father, friend and neighbor.

Steve graduated from West Point, and his time in the Army, which included the Airborne, taught him the importance of discipline, hard work, courage and leading by example.

Because of his leadership, Steve’s legislative colleagues elected him speaker of the House. all accounts, his tenure was marked by his respect for and consideration of ideas and concerns from all members, regardless of party.

He led the fight for the tobacco settlement to fund smoking cessation and related illness and wellness initiatives. Steve believes it is not enough to fund remedial solutions — to use money wisely, we need to invest in prevention.

Steve’s eight-year tenure as our attorney general was marked by his public fight to prevent domestic violence and to establish civil rights teams in public schools, assuring safety for all our children.

Steve and his wife, Amanda, a school nurse, have put their principles into action privately. They have served as foster parents and mentors and have volunteered for many years at Baxter State Park. electing Steve we will get a first lady committed to all aspects of building communities.

What makes Steve stand out is his keen focus on looking upstream for solutions to prevent problems in the first place. He is a longtime proponent of early education, and wants the same preventive approach to the delivery of medical care and caring for our elderly in their homes whenever possible.

Please join me in voting for Steve Rowe for governor in the Democratic primary on June 8.

Toby Hollander

Portland

 

After reading Ron Bancroft’s column reviewing Channel 13’s Republican gubernatorial debate, I was left with the feeling that the author was incorrect, irresponsible and probably misguided.

Steve Abbott’s responses were genuine, his presence was excellent and his perspective reflected that of a man with the necessary combination of political wherewithal and experience that the next governor of Maine should have.

Steve’s comments regarding the state’s negative attitude toward recruiting business were particularly poignant, as this election will be won by the candidate who will push the special interests out of Augusta and provide a business landscape that will foster investment and development statewide.

I have to wonder why Mr. Bancroft is so quick to fly the flag for Paul LePage? Bancroft’s occupation is listed as “independent strategy consultant.” If that is an accurate description, maybe his opinions should remain “independent” of what this reader feels is an obvious bias and a poor assessment of Mr. Abbott’s performance.

Zach Lingley

Student, University of Maine School of Law

Portland

 

Peter Mills is extraordinarily qualified to be the next governor of Maine. There are many good people seeking the office, but no one matches both his experience and his ideas. We are in tough times — we need our next governor to hit the ground running, and to sustain the effort as we build a better future.

As an ex-businessman, I find it interesting that some candidates are saying they will run Maine like a business. While there are similarities, our government is not a business.

This is the time to elect someone who is reasonably close to the situation, and has the insights, intellect and courage to make the many tough decisions the next governor will face.

Listen to what all the candidates are saying. The slogans sound so similar — perhaps by design. Listen carefully to Peter and you will hear an unmatched depth of insight into our challenges, and specifics on solutions. This isn’t the time for someone who just sounds good. It’s time for a well-prepared leader with the right experience — and that person is Peter Mills.

Tom Dunne

Cape Elizabeth

 

I have been watching the GOP race with great interest and until now have felt that the candidates were conducting a very respectful race. I have had keen interest in several of the candidates but was very disappointed to see Bruce Poliquin come out with such a negative ad attacking Les Otten.

I had high hopes this wouldn’t happen, but it appears when candidates begin to struggle in the polls they sometimes feel it necessary to attempt to make themselves look bigger by tearing down others.

The misleading statements Poliquin puts forth in his ad say more about him than they do about his opponent. Is this the type of leader we would want who so quickly stoops to unseemly tactics when things get rough?

The governorship is not an easy job, and if Bruce can’t handle pressure of the campaign, should we trust him with Maine’s economy?

I owned a business in the Portland area for 20 years, which employed up to 100 people. I know what it is like to lie in bed at night with a knot in your stomach worrying about payroll and other issues that threaten survival.

I know that experience made me a stronger leader and I feel that Les Otten knows that feeling because of his own ordeals at American Skiing Co. He has been knocked down, but it is clear he is not the kind of leader who stays down. He has emerged stronger and wiser for having been in the heat of battle.

I have been impressed by several of the candidates, but Poliquin’s ad made my choice easier by one.

Dan Link

Portland

 

I have been looking at the stands the various Democratic gubernatorial candidates have taken on the issues most important to Maine, and Senate President Libby Mitchell is a standout. Mitchell has experience in the state Legislature.

As chairwoman of the Education Committee, she had her finger on the state of education in Maine. She has a firm grasp on the issues confronting us in energy, budget shortfalls, economic development and health care, and she has meaningful, deliberate plans designed to move us forward in improving the lives of Mainers.

Most importantly, she has the ability to work with members of the opposition party to accomplish her objectives. This is critically important today more than ever before. At a time of gridlock in the national halls of power, Libby Mitchell can move us forward by extending a hand in true bipartisanship.

Roy Quinn

Saco

 

I’m a Peter Mills supporter and here is a reason why. I met Peter the first year he ran for Senate when his father insisted that Peter handle my Alaskan maritime injury case.

Throughout the four years that it took to resolve my case, I would occasionally run into Peter in Augusta, and I remember how excited he was to be serving his district. I was struck by his enthusiasm and how genuinely he loved doing the people’s business.

Peter and I have lives that are worlds apart, yet, whenever we run into each other, I feel as though I’m speaking to an old friend who sincerely cares about what’s going on in my life, and that my opinion is important to him.

This is his way. I’ve witnessed it with others. Peter has a way of connecting with empathy to people, no matter what walk of life, and that’s just one of the many reasons why I feel he would make a fantastic governor.

Maine is just waiting for a leader the likes of Peter and I believe, if his party will do the right thing and give him the nomination, the independent-minded voters of the state will vote for him in droves.

Jeff Taber

Windham

 

There’s no doubt about it: Libby Mitchell is a Democrat. She was a Democrat the day Gov. Joseph Brennan appointed her director of the Maine State Housing Authority, the day she was sworn in as the first woman speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, the day she became president of the Maine Senate, and every other day of the 36 years she has served the people of Maine as a legislator, educator, neighbor and friend.

I knew she was a Democrat the moment I met her as she insisted that our most noble pursuit was to help people find homes, jobs, health care, independence and respect. That was a quarter of a century ago and she is still there, pushing and pulling, and giving and taking, all in an effort to raise the hopes and support the dreams of so many people who are otherwise sadly forgotten.

I suspect that when Ted Kennedy famously wrote, “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” he had in mind a group of people amid which was Libby Mitchell.

Donald H. Gean

Old Orchard Beach

 

Earlier this year this paper printed my letter regarding independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler’s stance on charter schools, where I indicated that he was considering charter schools as an economic, not an educational, remedy for the state of Maine.

I would like to let you know that Mr. Cutler responded personally to me and addressed the issue, which I find to be a breath of fresh air. He clearly stated his stance and furthered my understanding of his intent regarding charter schools. Wow — taking the time to respond personally to one citizen to clarify an issue.

If you would consider printing this apology to candidate Cutler for my misunderstanding and misrepresenting his views, I would greatly appreciate it. Further, if I in any way influenced any other voters to not vote for him because of this, I would suggest that they contact his office and/or his website to gain clarity on his stance regarding charter schools.

They might not get the personal attention I received but because of this and my knowing more, I have the highest regard for his candidacy and his total educational posture.

Mark Schwartz

South Portland