If there’s one thing I’ve learned about politics over the past decade, it’s that people and ideas have their “political time.” They fit the mood, the needs, the context, and the challenges that are presented to them. They make a difference because they are the right person at the right time.

In a field of many candidates who have seen their political time on other days, I am inspired and energized by the mayoral campaign of Jed Rathband. I met Jed in 2003, and was inspired then by his energy, creativity and positive outlook on the world. Since then, watching Jed engage in the issues facing Portland, and Maine, those qualities have only intensified.

They have also given him the experience he may have been missing back in 2003. At 39, Jed is still young and enthusiastic, but with the experience to take on a serious job for Portland. His passion for life and for Portland, his contagious positive energy, and his experience in working on policy issues over the past decade fit so well the challenges that we face at this time. Jed’s candidacy excites me not just for the job I think he will do for Portland, but for the contagious rejuvenation of spirit he will generate among all of us in the Portland region.

State Sen. Dick Woodbury

Yarmouth

When the Charter Commission recommended a popularly elected mayor for the city of Portland, we hoped for a number of candidates and a spirited debate on the future of Portland. Little did we imagine that 15 candidates would choose to run with such a wide variety of backgrounds and ideas.

In spite of the numbers, I think that one candidate rises to the top based on his experience, his grasp of the issues and understanding of the role and that is Mike Brennan.

Mike understands that the role of the mayor is to build consensus in the community and within the council in order to move the city forward. His experience in building coalitions and agreement when he served in leadership in the state House and Senate is a perfect example of his abilities to forge consensus and generate results.

Key issues facing the city include ensuring that we have quality educational opportunities to generate employable graduates for the jobs of the future and generating those future jobs through effective economic development. Mike understands the issues clearly and has a depth of knowledge in both areas. He has thoughtful, workable ideas as well as plans for bringing together lots of people to share their ideas and construct a common plan.

His experience in working with the business and community leaders of Portland in his work at the United Way and in the Legislature will be an asset for him in this new role as full-time mayor.

There are a number of experienced politicians and emerging leaders among the candidates. I will be ranking those people as well with our new system of ranked choice voting. But Mike best fits my vision of what we need for an elected mayor in Portland. I strongly recommend him as your first choice.

Pam Plumb

Portland

Closely following Portland’s mayoral race, I see a bunch of great ideas, but I find myself wondering about the leadership capabilities of each candidate and their vision for Portland. As a resident of Portland for 13 years, one candidate receives little press, yet she continually stands above the rest: Jodie Lapchick.

Her vision includes leading the charge to get the city to understand, embrace, and commit to Portland’s new economic development plan. Jodie’s goal is to ensure that the marketing and branding elements that are critical to its success are met with experienced long-term stewardship. Without successful implementation of this plan, especially around the critical issues of marketing and branding, the city risks wasting missed opportunities for attainable economic development.

While other candidates may be more familiar with municipal functions, Jodie is uniquely positioned to serve as mayor for the following reasons.

Given her background in running a strategic marketing firm, she has the business savvy to execute this plan. She brings broad experience with a number of industries in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and has learned to be effective by acquiring an understanding of individual clients’ issues.

She has become an effective leader and convener of many diverse groups to successfully implement a variety of individual strategies based on her ability to identify opportunities.

Jodie is an exceptional candidate and has consistently demonstrated her ability to coalesce ideas by: convening stakeholders, identifying areas of agreement, listening effectively, turning concepts into actionable items, realizing potential consequences of proposed ideas, understanding the big picture, building and fostering honest relationships, engaging communities, and communicating effectively.

Why would you settle for anyone less as the next Portland mayor? I know I won’t, which is why she deserves my vote and yours.

Margaret Kelsey

Portland

My family has been in Portland since 1846 when my great-great-grandfather came here to escape Ireland’s Great Hunger. Sadly, due to a lack of leadership these past few decades I’m not sure if those ties can be maintained by the next generation. I want my children to prosper and I would love to see them prosper right here in Portland. This is why I believe the upcoming mayoral election is so important. It is imperative we choose the right candidate.

I strongly support Ethan Strimling for the position. Restarting Portland’s economy must include jobs, development, hard work and opportunity. His record of success is clear. His leadership in transforming a troubled Portland West into the successful LearningWorks is a perfect example of Ethan’s leadership.

Also, as a state senator in Augusta he demonstrated both the diplomatic ability and the mental toughness to stand up to ensure Portland received its fair share back from Augusta. The ability to navigate in the halls of the state Legislature will be vital for the newly elected mayor to succeed.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ethan Strimling is the best candidate for the job. Please join me in voting for him for mayor of Portland on Nov. 8.

Joe Markley

Portland

The mayoral race is an opportunity to elect a mayor who will best serve the city under the newly enacted city charter. This charter does not make the mayor the chief executive officer, nor does it usurp any of the powers previously granted to the city manager. This was a deliberate decision made by the commission based upon the proven effectiveness of the city manager form of government.

Portland needs a leader who understands the respective roles played by the city manager and the mayor. The new mayor was designed to be a “policy mayor,” one who can articulate a vision for the city and have the political skills to establish the necessary coalitions within the City Council and the community. The charter does not grant the mayor authority to run the daily affairs of city government.

The mayor does have a strong role in holding the city manager accountable for implementing the policy decisions set by the mayor and the council. The city manager and the mayor must work together — they must be a team that can lead the city forward.

Michael Brennan best understands these important distinctions. He is focused on major policy issues such as economic development, education and transportation. He has the experience and skills to work collaboratively with leaders in Portland and beyond. This is why I am supporting him.

Tim Honey

former city manager of Portland and Boulder, Colo.

Portland

Last week Michael Brennan came to Peaks Island to talk about his campaign for mayor. But he didn’t just talk.

He listened intently, as he usually does, to what people had to say. He heard from islanders how important the ferry and its issues are to us. It is our lifeline to the mainland, the way we commute to our jobs, access medical care, get groceries and other supplies to the island, etc.

Later that week he attended the Casco Bay Lines board meeting to learn more — not to talk but to listen. This speaks to his level of commitment and follow-through on issues that are important to all Peaks Island and Portland voters.

Peaks Islanders may be a small part of our city but we, like every citizen of Portland, deserve a mayor who will listen and take our concerns seriously. This is the mayor Michael Brennan will be.

Marjorie Phyfe

Peaks Island