Jeez, I hope Roger Katz doesn’t run for Governor. If he does, I will have to support him – and I don’t want to.

Katz is a Republican. I am a Democrat.

He is a lawyer in Augusta, though I have only met him a few times in my life.

(It was actually during his role as would-be promoter of outdoor concerts at Scarborough Downs in the l980s when I first met him, and dealt with him most. The concerts never happened. He took it well).

Katz is a state Senator from Augusta. He has been involved in several high profile battles – not his, but others’, but always seems to handle himself in a reasonable, classy fashion. Disgustingly so.

Remember the election controversy this past November involving one of the islands off Portland, in Casco Bay, where allegedly there were a bunch of ballots that mysteriously “showed up” at some point after the polls closed – thereby swinging the close election to the other person.

There was an appeal to Augusta. Secretary of State’s Office did an investigation. Many people chimed in with their opinion – including your Governor, Mr. LePage – before knowing all the facts (Standard Democratic response: Conspiracy! Standard Republican response: “You are sore losers! Accept the new result!”).

Roger Katz was part of the Legislative Committee charged with conducting its own investigation to decide which candidate should be seated in the state Senate.

He was nauseatingly diplomatic, fact-based, reasonable, restrained and patient and reserved in his approach. He was the Mature Adult in the room.

Again, made you sick!

He has also taken similar approaches to such controversial topics as welfare abuse, the Ebola controversy, and the bailout by your Governor, Mr. LePage, of the Wall Street fast-talkers, who claimed to be trying to rescue Great Northern Paper in Millinocket but who really only wanted to host a high-level rummage sale.

On welfare abuse, he said if people are cheating, let’s stop it. But some people need help. Let’s handle this with dignity. (He is a Republican; must have been touchy for him to decline to jump on board the hang-’em-high anti-welfare crowd led by your Republican Governor, Mr. LePage).

On Ebola, he would not string anybody. He wanted the facts about the disease, when people were contagious, etc. Stunning.

And in the election controversy, he said, Whooooooa, Nellie, let’s find out first what we have for ballots, look at the list of voters, see how many ballots we should have, and how many we actually have, etc. He oversaw the investigation. Turned out the batch of “discovered” ballots were some that had just been double-counted by mistake. Controversy over. Democrat announced the winner. His reaction: The decision announced was the one supported by facts.

In the next 10 years, there will be many changes in Maine (or there better be). The cost and alleged duplication in the University of Maine system. The reliance on property taxes to fund education. Welfare issues. Prison problems.

How will it all get done – or not? By folks who do not throw tantrums, or call names, or storm out of rooms.

I suspect Roger Katz will be one of the people in the room allowed to handle the gavel, and turn the lights off and on.

But, God, I hope it is not as Governor. If he runs, I will have to support him. I don’t need all that grief from my Democratic Party friends.

Dan Warren is a trial lawyer with Jones and Warren in Scarborough. He can be reached by private Facebook message at the Jones & Warren Attorneys at Law page, or by email at [email protected]


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