OXFORD — The decision Maine Republicans will make on June 12 will impact our future. It is critically important we select a candidate who is consistent and reliable, has proven job creation experience, shares our Maine values and ultimately can defeat Angus King in the fall.

I believe I am that candidate, and I am asking for your support.

I was born and raised in Maine and I have been right here my entire life. I have spent a decade working hard to turn a struggling small business into an internationally recognized company headquartered right here in Maine.

I have created jobs, and I know what policies will foster economic growth, and what ones will hurt our ability to grow our economy.

Last week’s jobs report was just another in a litany of indictments of the current administration. Our labor force participation rate, at 63 percent, is the lowest in decades.

Some 23 million Americans are now unemployed or severely underemployed. And the median household income has dropped by $4,300 under President Obama, whom Mr. King has enthusiastically endorsed.

From the founding of this great Republic through the first term under President Ronald Reagan, this country accumulated debt totaling $1 trillion. Today, America’s bonded debt is nearing $16 trillion, and the unfunded liabilities in the Social Security and Medicare programs total nearly $100 trillion. $100 trillion!

Our kids and grandkids are going to pay the price for this unconscionable failure of leadership, yet for three years running the Harry Reid-led Senate has failed to pass a budget.

For nearly 20 years I have been speaking publicly in support of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Ask yourself if the other candidates in this race are new to the debt fight, or if they have just started humming this tune when the opportunity presented itself to upgrade their political titles.

I have said publicly that all spending is on the table — there are no sacred cows. And I would start with putting an end to the corrupting relationship between big government and big business.

We cannot solve all problems by stopping crony capitalism, but it’s a great place to begin because it will allow our small businesses to compete on a level playing field.

There can be no more bank bailouts under any circumstances, and the huge government loans to companies like Solyndra need to stop.

We must eliminate the Production Tax Credit on wind development. We should demand that the IRS require proof of eligibility for the child tax credit to prevent illegal aliens from illegally receiving the benefit.

I don’t need a political job. I want to create jobs and get this economy moving again. My opponents seem consumed with chasing the next, best political title.

Charlie Summers has unsuccessfully run for Congress three times, and only a year and a half after being elected secretary of state, is now running for yet another federal office.

Bruce Poliquin likes to say that he is not a career politician, but he’s sure making up for lost time: This is the third office he has sought in less than two years. And his positions on the issues are not reliable and consistent.

Mr. Poliquin likes to tout his support of the Second Amendment, but in 2010 during his failed bid for governor, he stated publicly he supported mandatory background checks — the only Republican candidate to do so. Worse, he donated personal money to Handgun Control’s PAC. He touts his passion for economic growth, yet he was a leader in the first campaign to defeat the widening of the Maine Turnpike, working alongside environmental groups like the Sierra Club. He also has campaigned this year on a social conservative platform, but said in 2010 that he didn’t think the government had a role in social issues like abortion and gay marriage.

I have spent a lifetime in Maine, right alongside many of you. Elected unanimously as president of the Maine Senate, I have proven I can lead even at the height of partisanship.

My passion for and positions on the issues are steady. You won’t need to wonder where I stand when I take the oath of office. That is why I ask you to take a stand. I ask for your vote June 12.

Rick Bennett of Oxford is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

– Special to the Press Herald