On Sept. 8, the Press Herald published a letter written by Burnell Bailey. It was critical of me, but that wasn’t terribly surprising. Bailey lost an election to me in 2012. He’s never been a fan.

But what was surprising was the source of his critique. You see, in August one of Maine’s far-right fake news sites ran a piece on me that was nothing short of a lie. Of course, that didn’t stop Breitbart from picking it up. Then it was Milo Yiannopoulos – the darling of white supremacists – attacking me.

And if that weren’t enough, I then got my first-ever invitation to appear on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. It was a textbook example of how the “alt-right” works: Plant a lie, and see if you can use it to destroy someone standing in your way.

So, if you’ve had the misfortune of coming across any of this, let me set the record straight: There’s nothing more important than fixing the Maine economy. Talk to the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and local businesses around the state and they will all tell you that one of the most important ways to do that is to attract people from other places to come here and plant their new ideas in Maine soil. Why? Because diversifying the economy is a great way to create jobs, lift incomes and position Maine for the years ahead.

Of course, none of that got reported by the “alt-right” fake news machine. And maybe we should just chalk that up to politics. But here’s the thing: If you care about Maine, and this country we love, we can’t just cede the field to people like that. We must stand up for what we believe in, come what may. That’s what I’m going to do. And I hope you’ll join me.

Mark Eves

Democratic candidate for governor; former state representative

North Berwick