I read with great interest Charles Lawton’s recent column (“Maine needs governor with plan and passion to see it through,” Feb. 23).

I would hope that the current candidates for governor are not merely “par for the course, the usual political spin. … Release the plan … and move on.”

I still like to believe that candidates have a modicum of integrity and actually believe in what they propose. But Lawton rightfully points out that the biggest contributing factor is the person behind the plan.

I think that Lawton falls off the edge when he cites Pope Francis as a leadership role model. Yes, he is that, taking steps to create egality among his representatives, and caring for its members, but comparing the duties of the head of a major religious institution with a Maine political figure is the wrong analogy.

Of course I would wish for a leader who is honest, open and an “inspiring person (who) … calls our attention to the … fundamental challenges we face.”

I believe that Eliot Cutler embodies those qualities. He did indeed put forth many of the ideas that Michaud is taking credit for. But I think that his independence from a political party, and the quid pro quos that membership and support involve, makes him the most believable candidate for governor.

If he makes promises, he won’t have to renege on them because of party politics. He won’t have to make appointments based on party loyalty. He will have the freedom to be able to appoint people who have the best credentials for the job.

He appears to be a caring candidate, traveling the state and talking to workers at their jobs. He really seems to want to know the issues faced by us ordinary folk. And I believe that if given a chance to govern, he will use his knowledge to improve the lives of all Mainers.

Rachel Schwartz

South Portland