I support Democrat Steve Rowe for governor because he sets a high priority on educating our children. In his speech at the Democratic Convention last week, Steve referred to education as “the key that unlocks opportunity” and reminded us that we must focus on education in the state of Maine.

As a mother of two busy children, active member of the PTO and regular school volunteer, I agree that a quality education for our children is essential to raising productive, responsible and caring adults who have a lifelong passion for learning, innovation and problem-solving.

Steve Rowe wants to strengthen our education system with an emphasis on early childhood education to produce graduates that are prepared to compete with anyone, anywhere.

Equally important is having quality jobs for Mainers to do upon graduation. Steve has a plan for creating good-paying, sustainable jobs called “Innovate Maine.” A core principle of the plan is the belief that people are our greatest asset and their potential is realized only if they are healthy, well-educated, valued and challenged.

Steve Rowe is well-qualified to meet these objectives. He combines demonstrated leadership in the public and private sectors with a discipline honed by his West Point education and service as an Army officer.

Steve has served as a state legislator, speaker of the Maine House and Maine attorney general, and worked as an executive at several of Maine’s largest employers. He is prepared to do this job.

Steve Rowe is a man of integrity, dedication and vision. I know Steve will work tirelessly and cooperatively on these and many other issues.

That is why I will vote for him in the June 8 primary, and I encourage others to do so as well.

Larissa Pratt

Scarborough

 

Paul LePage is currently a Republican gubernatorial candidate. Even more important, he is my father.

My dad led a household where family came first. He took an active role in all aspects of our lives, from academics to coaching our sports teams.

My dad received a lot of help throughout his adolescence from two families, the Collinses (Lewiston) and the Myricks (Auburn). He decided he needed to do the same for someone else less fortunate.

Devon joined our family eight years ago. Devon came to the States from his impoverished life in Jamaica. It was a hard transition, for all of us, especially Devon, who left his family and life as he knew it behind.

Now Devon is currently working on his MBA at the University of Louisiana. I am so proud that my dad made the decision to bring Devon into our lives, and I am blessed with having an older brother because of it.

My dad also instilled three major values in us growing up; honesty, personal responsibility and perseverance. All three are qualities that we need in our next governor.

I am proud of my dad for putting his ideas out there. I grew up in a house where quitting was not an option, and no matter what the outcome, you do the best you possibly can.

He’s not afraid to make the hard decisions. The same rules apply to everyone. My dad is a man of great integrity, and I hope the voters of Maine choose someone who doesn’t just make promises, but who lives up to these promises every day, not only in business, but at home — where all change happens first.

Lauren LePage

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Fla.

 

At a time when most of us are tired of bitter partisanship, ruthless personal attacks against those perceived to be “on the other side” and mindless devotion to a particular cause, it is refreshing to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate with a proven ability and willingness to work with others having many different points of view, trying to improve the quality of life for the people of Maine.

That candidate is Peter Mills.

I have known Peter for the better part of 40 years. He is bright, very hard-working, fiscally responsible and compassionate. He won’t ignore a pressing social problem or balance the budget on the backs of our grandchildren. He has no dogma or agenda other than achieving what is best for the majority of Maine people.

We don’t need more candidates with empty slogans like “family values” or “reduce taxes” or “save the forests.”

We’ve heard their sales pitches before. We need a candidate with the education, and practical political experience to promote specific policies that will give the people of Maine a better quality of life. We have a candidate with education from Harvard University and the University of Maine School of Law, plus 16 years of experience in the Maine Legislature.

That candidate is Peter Mills.

Brent Slater

Bangor

 

I will be voting in this year’s primary on June 8. I have made my decision on who I will be voting for. I will be checking Les Otten’s name on the GOP ballot.

Why, you ask? I have been living in western Maine for 30 years and have seen how Bethel has grown into the type of Maine community that the state of Maine should be proud of and the people that live in Bethel hold precious.

The reason this small community has turned into what it is today is because of the vision of Les Otten. Les had a vision for Bethel and Sunday River and he executed that vision.

This is the type of person that we need to lead the state of Maine. Les has a vision for the state to create jobs and to create a vision for the state to keep our families together and sustain a lifestyle that follows the Maine motto of “The Way Life Should Be.”

Leadership is about having a vision and executing that vision while at the same time overcoming all obstacles. I urge all Republicans to vote for Les Otten on June 8.

Les Kutasi

Bridgton

 

Our current state government has been greatly mismanaged. The next governor will have to take on a $1 billion budget gap and almost $9 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Of all the candidates for governor, Bruce Poliquin is the only one who has the managerial, financial and economic experience to help Maine rise up from this fiscal dilemma.

After graduating from college with a degree in economics, Bruce helped build an asset management firm called Avatar Investors Associates. The firm was responsible for safely investing pension funds for companies like Bath Iron Works and International Paper.

With Bruce’s direction, the firm was able to increase the total worth of the pension funds from $35 million to $5 billion. Bruce is the only candidate who has this sort of management experience. Bruce is not one to resort to political platitudes. He is not a politician. His experience as an investment manager gives him a perspective different from any other candidate. He understands fiscal matters.

Most of Maine’s financial problems are systemic, which is why I believe it is important to elect someone who has the skills to efficiently manage state funds and lead us toward financial solvency.

Bruce Poliquin is that someone.

Bayard Douty

Cape Elizabeth

 

The upcoming primary on June 8 has a variety of choices for those who wish to make a difference. There is now a Republican platform that has a basis in the Constitution. Our committee in Knox County worked long and hard to frame the document to have something that we could be a part of.

The governor candidate who is the best of the best for the Republican Party is Paul LePage. His motto of “If it is to be, it is up to me” resonates with those of us who have overcome life’s challenges and won. It’s a pity that others aren’t able to win battles and know accomplishment as Paul LePage has done.

Please vote June 8 for Paul LePage.

And then vote “yes” on Question 1 and “no” to all the bonds we can’t afford. A shortfall of more than a billion dollars is what needs to be faced in the next budget cycle. The only man who knows how to do more with less is Paul LePage, our next governor.

Beverly Cowan

Rockland

 

I am writing in support of Les Otten for governor. Les has a solid, well-defined plan to help our state get out of the economic malaise we have been in for years. His experience in creating jobs in western Maine by growing an unknown ski hill into a world-class resort is nothing short of incredible.

Pairing that with the creation of a benchmark handicapped skiing program highlights a man with visionary business acumen and amazing compassion for those needing some extra help. Such a visionary obviously doesn’t know the meaning of impossible and has very little regard for the word “no.”

I believe that Les Otten has a wonderful and refreshing common-sense attitude toward many things that challenge our state today. Les has the proven ability to create much out of little.

Maine needs visionary thinking. Maine needs visionary leadership. Maine needs Les Otten.

Charlie Tufts

Gray

 

Is everyone following the polls? The Republican primary for governor is down to two, Paul LePage, a conservative Republican, and Steve Abbott, who is not a conservative Republican.

I am sure the total vote will go to the conservatives, but if we split that conservative vote four or five ways, the not-conservative candidate may win. I have sadly seen it happen before.

This should be a good year for conservatives, but not if we split up. Conservatives need to all vote for one person and that person is Paul Le- Page, the only conservative candidate with a really good chance of winning.

Lucille Atwater

Palmyra

 

I am writing to support Les Otten for governor. I know Les well as a friend, but I am supporting him because he is the most qualified candidate. We have played together, we have worked together; I know his character.

Together, Les and I co-founded Maine Handicapped Skiing, a program that has served thousands of disabled Mainers and is now used as a national model. Les and I have spent hours talking about what would make Maine a better place.

Les has a detailed plan to create jobs in Maine — to make Maine a welcoming place for young and old alike. Les is a visionary who will do what is right for Maine. He has targeted taxation, regulatory, welfare and insurance reform along with education, and energy as key areas that can be improved to change Maine for the better.

I’ll be voting for Les because I believe he has the gravitas that it will take to lead Maine to prosperity.

Les has deep values that he developed as a child. In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler went to Les’ father in Germany, ordering him to make bombs for the Nazis.

His dad said “no.” He was jailed, but eventually made his way to America, where he started his life over again.

Les’ father was knocked down, but he had the courage to stand back up. Les also has had setbacks in life, but he always stands back up and gets back to work. Standing up for what you believe in, that’s the inspiration Les Otten will carry to Augusta.

Les Otten is not only a friend, but he’s a strong and visionary leader with a record of success. Please join me in supporting Les Otten for governor on June 8.

Omar “Chip” Crothers, M.D.

Portland