Last Saturday night I spent the evening in Portland debating my three independent opponents and a supporter of Paul LePage. On Sunday, I was on the road at 5:30 a.m. to once again debate my opponents, this time in Bar Harbor.

This schedule is typical of most candidates for governor. I first debated the three independent candidates back on Aug. 13. Since then, I have debated a half a dozen times and currently have over 25 more scheduled before Election Day.

Having spent so much time on the stage with the other candidates, I was more than a little surprised to read an editorial in the Maine Sunday Telegram urging me to “ start appearing at forums so that voters can hear (my) views.” The paper also wrote that if I want to be governor, I need to draw a contrast with my major opponents. I appreciate their concern and believe that in the 30 or so debates voters will clearly see the differences. It would be hard not to.

Paul LePage is the frontrunner in this campaign. He believes that the solution to Maine’s energy challenge is to build a nuclear power plant, drill for oil in the Gulf of Maine and water down environmental protections. I have a different approach.

As I have discussed in the various debates, I reject the false choice between jobs and a clean environment. We need to lower energy costs and create jobs by investing in renewable power in a way that protects Maine’s unique character.

The paper inaccurately stated that I have not been debating, but the editorial was right on one point: Ours is a participatory democracy.

By having so many debates scheduled, all five candidates will have the opportunity to draw distinctions, exchange ideas and make their case to Maine people.