In a letter to the editor, Betsy Smith presented a glowing endorsement of Eliot Cutler for governor (“Why a gay rights activist picks Cutler,” Nov. 20).

She praises his vision and leadership, confident that “he will create an environment that promotes collaboration to achieve a secure and promising future for all Mainers.”

I agree that on paper, Cutler has an impressive resume with the admirable qualities of vision and leadership the incumbent governor lacks.

In my opinion, Mike Michaud possesses similar credentials, with one distinct advantage: Cutler has no experience dealing with a bitterly divided partisan Legislature. This fact is Cutler’s greatest liability and Michaud’s greatest asset.

If elected governor, Michaud will have the support of the Democratic caucus. His many years of service in the state Legislature and currently in the U.S. House of Representatives give him the better capability to forge a working relationship with Republicans and independents.

This firsthand experience enables him to better cope with tea party Republicans, who will not deviate from their ultraconservative ideology.

But before they’re able to implement their leadership ability and visions for Maine, either Cutler or Michaud must first be elected to the office.

Early polls indicate Cutler is running a distant last to LePage and Michaud. The front-runners are too close to call.

If there is no surge in his poll numbers before Election Day 2014, Cutler will not only lose, he may well be the contributing factor to both Michaud’s defeat and LePage’s re-election.

Maine voters unhappy with the present administration face a difficult decision in the gubernatorial election. A majority must choose between Cutler and Michaud or accept the inevitable prospect of LePage’s re-election. This is the reality of politics – the best man does not always win.

Realistically evaluating the candidates, I am convinced Mike Michaud is better prepared to lead Maine to a better future.

Sam Kamin

Cumberland