With the national focus on the presidential campaign, we can easily forget about the races that impact us directly. As a citizen concerned by what I see in Augusta, I want to explain why I support Jean-Marie Caterina for the Maine State Senate in District 30 (Scarborough, Gorham, and Buxton) on Nov. 8.

As someone who is deeply inspired by leadership of Bernie Sanders, I’m on the lookout for local leaders with integrity. Caterina is a woman who I believe exemplifies many of the qualities essential for transparent and effective leadership in Augusta.

One example of Jean-Marie’s commitment to serving the people of Senate District 30 is her decision to run as a Clean Election candidate. As such, Jean-Marie has committed to funding her campaign one single $5 donation at a time (from voters in the district). She believes that big money has no place in politics, and is committed to remaining accountable only to the people. She won’t sell out to large donors or outside interest groups.

It is not surprising to me that her opponent made a different choice and is, instead, raising money from a few wealthy donors. That is just one of many reasons I question where her opponent’s allegiance lies.

As a former social worker, teacher, and current small business owner, Caterina understands what the people of Scarborough need from their leaders. And as vice chair of the Scarborough Town Council, Jean-Marie’s qualifications for the position are significant. She knows how to get things done.

I urge you to consider Jean-Marie Caterina for the State Senate on November 8th – I think it’s time that our voices are heard in Augusta.

Eli Edgecomb